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Full text of "On agriculture, with a recension of the text and an English translation by Harrison Boyd Ash"

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tT. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. 

tE. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. tW. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 

L. A. POST, M.A. E. H. WARMINGTON, m.a., f.r.hist.soo. 







fE. S. FORSTER, M.B.E., M.A.(Oxox.), F.S.A. 











Printed in Oreat Britain 


4. 7. S-b- 



Prefatory Note ..... vii 
SlOLA ....... xi 

Book V 2 

Measurement and Shapes of Land— Number of Plants 
to be Set — Provincial Vineyards — Cultivation of Vines 
and Trees for Supporting them — Olive-trees and Nurseries 
— Pomiferous Trees — Grafting — Shrub-Trefoil. 

Book VI 118 

Oxen, their Care and Diseases — Bulls and Cows — 

Breeding ^Diseases Horses Medicines Mules 


Book VII 230 

The Ass — Sheep — Diseases — the Goat — Diseases — 
Cheese-making — Pigs — Diseases — Dogs — Diseases. 

Book VIII 320 

Birds and Fishes — Farmyard Poultry — Pigeons- 
Thrushes — Peafowl — Amphibious Birds — Ducks — Fishes. 

Book IX 420 

Wild Animals — Bees, the Management of them, their 
Diseases and Pests — Honey — Wax. 


Owing to the death of Dr, Harrison Boyd Ash of ' 
the University of Pennsylvania shortly after the pub- 
lication of the first volume (Books I-IV) of the De 
Re Rustica of Columella, the Editors entrusted me 
with the remainder of the work. 

There has been no complete modern edition of 
the text since J. G. Schneider's (Leipzig 1794), but 
the principles laid down by Dr. Ash (Vol. I, p. xxi) 
appear to me to be entirely satisfactory. He 
describes them as follows : " The text and manu- 
script readings of the present edition, for Books 
I-H, Vl-Vn, X-XI and the De Arboribus, rest 
substantially on the work of Lundstrom. For 
Books ni-V, Vni-IX and XH, the translator has 
attempted to construct a critical text in some 
approximation to that of Lundstrom by the collation 
of four major manuscripts with the text of Schneider." 
It was natural to conclude from these words that a 
text constructed by Dr. Ash would be available for 
the rest of the work, but no traces of the existence 
of such a text have been found in America. It has, 
therefore, been necessary to undertake the con- 
struction of a new text, and I have tried to conform 
as far as possible with Dr. Ash's system, using 
Lundstrom 's edition for those books which he has 
edited and attempting a new text for Books V, VIII, 
IX and XII. For this purpose I have been fortunate, 
through the good offices of Professor L. A. Post, in 
obtaining from America photostats of the four most 


important MSS. (see p. xvi of Vol. I), which fall into 
two classes, (a) the two 9th-10th century MSS. and (b) 
the two best of the 15th-century MSS. The photo- 
stats, which were used by Dr. Ash for his collation 
of Books III and IV, were purchased with a grant 
provided by the Faculty Research Fund of the 
University of Pennsylvania. The only point in 
which my text of these books differs from that of 
Dr. Ash is that I have not had an opportunity, which 
Dr. Ash had, of comparing my text with that of the 
MS. known as Morganensis 138, formerly Hamil- 
tonensis 184 in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New 

For some unexplained reason the text of Book V, 
especially Chapter VIII to the end, is in a worse 
condition than in any other part of the work, and 
there is the further complication that, from Chapter 
X to the end, the text, though slightly longer, is 
closely identical with that of De Arhorihus, Chapter 
XVIII to the end. It seems certain that the De 
Arhoribus is part of an earlier and shorter treatise 
which was afterwards superseded by the De Re 
Rustica. It is a question how far the text of these 
similar chapters in the De Re Rustica and the De 
Arhoribus should be corrected from one another. 
There are numerous places in which the text of 
Book V is deficient or careless, and these can be 
corrected from the De Arhorihus, but it also appears 
that the author made a good many verbal changes 
as well as inserting new matter. I have, therefore, 
refrained from making the two slightly different 
versions correspond exactly and have kept the MS. 
reading in both treatises where it makes sense — 
very often the same sense in slightly different 



words — but the fact that there are these two 
versions has necessitated a larger apparatus criticus 
in these chapters of Book V than for any other part 
of the work. 

I have to thank His Grace the Duke of Devonshire 
for lending me [M. C. Curtius], L. Junius Moderatus 
Columella o?i Husbandry in Twelve Books and his 
Book concerning Trees (London 1745) (a very rare 
work) from the Chatsworth Library, and Mademoi- 
selle Helene Rousseau for obtaining for me in Paris 
a copy of M. Nisard, Les Agronomes Latins (Paris, 
1844), for which I had been searching for many 

Edward S. Forster. 

Upon the death of Professor Forster, the Editors 
of this Library entrusted to me the responsibility 
of completing the unfinished project. In the cir- 
cumstances this assignment naturally extended to 
the making of a thorough examination of every 
aspect of the work. The photostats mentioned by 
my predecessor in the above lines were in due time 
returned to America and were fully utilized in the 
process of examination and study. In the checking 
between these manuscripts, as well as in the verifi- 
cation of references to important earlier editions of 
Columella, very substantial assistance was furnished 
to me by my wife, which I desire gratefully to ac- 
knowledge here. It is to be hoped that the process of 
restudying and reviewing has resulted in an improved 
product. It is always a serious thing to find your- 
self differing with another person on matters of a 
scholarly nature ; to handle such materials when left 



by the hand of one who is no longer able to speak in 
defence of his interpretation imposes many a delicate 
task. Naturally there are numerous passages in the 
text of Columella, and also in the English version, 
which I would have handled somewhat differently 
from the manner in which they were treated by my 
predecessor if I had been free to shape things de novo. 
However, this statement applies rather to materials 
involving the factors of taste and judgment than to 
those where the essential thought was an issue. 

The reader might be reminded of the Biblio- 
graphy prepared by the late Professor Ash and 
included in Vol. I of this Library. The works per- 
taining to Columella that are there cited were 
obviously made use of by Professor Forster, as they 
were also utilized by me. 

Edward H. Heffner. 


S = Cod. Sangermanensis Petropolitanus 207 (9th 

A = Cod. Ambrosianus L 85 sup. (9th-10th cents.) 
jR =: all or consensus of the 15th cent. MSS. 
a = Cod. Laurentianus plut. 53. 32 (15th cent.). 
c = Cod. Caesenas Malatestianus plut. 24. 2 (15th 

ed. pr. = editio princeps (Jensoniana), Venice, 1472. 
Aid. — the first Aldine edition, Venice, 1514. 
Gesfi. = J. M. Gesner, Scriptores Ret Rusticae Veteres 

Latini, Leipzig, 1735. 
Schneider = J. G. Schneider, Scriptores Rei Rusticae 

Veteres Latini, Leipzig, 1794. 
LundstrQm = V. Lundstrom, L. lun. Mod. Columella 

Lib. I-II, VI-VII, X-XI, de Arboribus, 

Upsala-Goteborg, 1897-1940. 

Note. — In Books VI and VII, where the apparatus 
criticus is based on Lundstrom's recension, his 
siglum R is used as representing the reading of all 
or the majority of the twenty-five 15th-century 
MSS. collated by him. In Books V and VIII a new 
collation has been made of only the two best 15th- 
century MSS., for which the sigla a and c are used. 







I. Prioribus libi-is, quos ad te de constituendis 
colendisque vineis, Silvine, scripseram, nonnulla 
defuisse dixisti, quae agrestium operum studiosi 
desiderarent ; neque ego infitior aliqua me prae- 
teriisse, quamvis inquirentem sedulo, quae nostri 
saeculi cultores quaeque veteres literarum monu- 
mentis prodiderunt : sed cum sim professus ^ rusticae 
rei praecepta, nisi fallor, asseveraveram, quae 
vastitas ^ eius scientiae contineret, non cuncta me 
dicturum, sed plurima. Nam illud in unius hominis 
prudentiam cadere non poterat. Neque enim est 
ulla disciplina, non ars, quae singular!^ consummata 
sit ingenio. Quapropter ut in magna silva boni 
venatoris est indagantem feras quamplurimas capere ; 
nee cuiquam culpae fuit non omnes cepisse : ita nobis 

* sim professus c : sum professus a : summo festus SA. 

* vastitas ac : unitas SA. 

' singulari ac : consulari 8 A, 




I. You have said, Silvinus, that in the earlier The 
books, which I had written to vou about estabhsh- '"^^'^'*- 

1 1 • • • 1 1 • ment 

ing and cultivating vineyards, some things were of land. 
omitted of which those who devote themselves to 
agriculture felt the want ; and indeed I do not deny 
that, although I carefully studied what the agricul- 
turists of our own age and also the ancients have 
handed down in written records, there are some 
topics which I have passed over. But when I under- 
took to teach the precepts of husbandry, if I mistake 
not, I did not assert that I would deal with all but 
only with very many of those subjects which the vast 
extent of that science embraces ; for it could not 
fall within the scope of one man's knowledge, and 2 
there is no kind of learning and no art which has been 
completely mastered by a single intellect. There- 
fore, just as the task of a good sportsman, tracking 
his prey in a vast forest, is to catch as many wild 
beasts as he can nor has blame ever attached to any- 
one if he did not catch them all, so it is amply 
sufficient for us to have treated of the greatest part of 


abunde est, tam difFusae materiae, quam suscepimus, 
maximam partem tradidisse. Quippe cum ea velut 
omissa desiderentur, quae non sunt propria nostrae 
professionis, ut proxime, cum de commetiendis agris 
rationerai M. Trebellius noster requireret a me, 
vicinum atque adeo coniunctum esse censebat de- 
monstranti, quemadmodum agrum pastinemus, prae- 
cipere etiam pastinatum quemadmodum metiri de- 
beamus. Quod ego non agricolae sed mensoris 
officium esse dicebam : cum praesertim ne architect! 
quidem, quibus necesse est mensurarum nosse 
rationem, dignentur consummatorum aedificiorum, 
quae ipsi disposuerint, modum comprehendere, sed 
aliud existiment professioni suae convenire, aliud 
eorum, qui iam exstructa ^ metiuntur, et ^ imposito ' 
calculo perfect! operis rationem computant. Quo 
magis veniam tribuendam esse nostrae disciplinae 
censeo,* si eatenus progreditur, ut dicat, qua quidque 
ratione faciendum, non quantum id sit quod effecerit. 
Verum quoniam familiariter a nobis tu quoque, 
Silvine, praecepta mensurarum desideras, obsequar 
voluntati tuae, cum eo, ne dubites id opus geome- 
trarum magis esse quam rusticorum, desque veniam, 
si quid in eo fuerit erratum, cuius scientiam mihi non 

Sed ut ad rem redeam, modus omnis areae pedali 
mensura comprehenditur, qui ^ digitorum est xvi. 

^ exstructa ac : exstructam S : extrunctam A. 

* post et add. SA iuncturae : om. ac. 

* imposito Aac : posito S, 

* censeo add. edd. 

' qui Aac : quia 8. 

BOOK V. I. 2-4 

the extensive material with which we have under- 
taken to deal. For indeed subjects, which do not 
properly belong to our profession, are demanded as 
though they had been left out; for example, only 
recently, when my friend Marcus Trebellius required 
from me a method of measuring land he expressed 
the opinion that it was a kindred and indeed closely 
connected task for one who was showing how we 
ought to trench land to give instructions also how we 
ought to measure the land thus trenched. I replied 
that this was the duty not of a farmer but of a sur- 
veyor, especially as even architects, who must 
necessarily be acquainted with the nnethods of 
measurement, do not deign to reckon the dimensions 
of buildings which they have themselves planned, 
but think that there is a function which befits their 
profession and another function which belongs to 
those who measure structures after they have been 
built and reckon up the cost of the finished work by 
applying a method of calculation. Therefore I hold 
that excuse should rather be made for our system 
of instruction if it only goes as far as to state by what 
method each of the operations of farming should be 
carried out and not the area over which it has been 
performed. But since, Silvinus, you also ask us in a 
friendly spii'it for instructions about measure- 
ments, I will comply with your wish, on condition 
that you harbour no doubt that this is really the 
business of geometricians rather than of countrymen, 
and make allowances for any errors that may be 
committed in a sphere where I do not claim to possess 
scientific knowledge. 

But to return to my subject, the extent of every area 
is reckoned by measurement in feet, and a foot consists 


Pes multiplicatus in passus et actus et climata et 
iugera et stadia centuriasque mox etiam in niaiora 
spatia pi'ocedit. Passus pedes habet v. Actus 
minimus (ut ait M. Varro) latitudinis ^ pedes quattuor, 
longitudinis habet pedes cxx. Clima quoquo versus 
pedum est lx. Actus quadratus undique finitur 
pedibus cxx. Hoc duplicatum facit iugerum, et ab 
eo, quod erat iunctum, nomen iugeri usurpavit : sed 
hunc actum provinciae Baeticae rustici acnuam ^ 
vocant : itemque triginta pedum latitudinem et 
CLxxx longitudinem porcam dicunt. At Galli cande- 
tum ^ appellant in areis urbanis spatium centum 
pedum, in agrestibus autem pedum CL.* Semi- 
iugerum quoque arepennem vocant. Ergo (ut dixi) 
duo actus iugerum efficiunt longitudinem pedum 
ccxL, latitudinem pedum cxx. Quae utraeque summae 
in se multiplicatae quadratorum faciunt pedum 
milia viginti octo et octingentos. Stadium deinde 
habet passus cxxv, id est pedes dcxxv, quae mensura 
octies efficit mille passus, sic veniunt quinque milia 
pedum. ^ Centuriam nunc dicimus (ut idem Varro ait) 
ducentorum iugerum modum. Olim autem ab 
centum iugeribus vocabatur centuria, sed mox du- 
plicata nomen retinuit : sicuti tribus dictae primum 
a partibus populi tripartite divisi, quae tamen nunc 
multiplicatae pristinum nomen possident. Haec 
non aliena, nee procul a ratiocinio, quod tradituri 
sumus, breviter praefari oportuit. 

* latitudinis ac : latitudinem A : latitudine S. 

* agnuam SAac. 

' candetum Aa : candentum c : gandetum S. 

* post CL add. quod aratores candetum nominant SAac. 

* sic veniunt quinque millia pedum ac : sunt campum 


BOOK V. I. 4-8 

of \% fingers. The multiplication of the foot produces 
successively the pace, the actus, the clima, the iugerum, 
the stadium and the centuria, and afterward still larger 
measurements. The pace contains five feet. The 
smallest actus (as Marcus Varro says) is four feet wide 
and 120 feet long. The c/i'raa is 60 feet each way. The 
squai-e actus is bounded by 120 feet each way ; when 
doubled it forms a iugerum, and it has derived the 
name of iugerum from the fact that it was formed by 
joining." This actus the country folk of the province 
of Baetica call acnua ; they also call a breadth of 30 
feet and a length of 180 feet a porca. The Gauls give 
the name candeium to areas of a hundred feet in urban 
districts but to areas of 150 feet in rural districts ; 
they also call a ha\i-iugei'um an arepennis. Two 
actus, as I have said, form a iugerum 240 feet long 
and 120 feet wide, which two numbers multiplied 
together make 28,800 square feet. Next a stadium 
contains 125 paces (that is to say 625 feet) which 
multiplied by eight makes 1000 paces, which amount 
to 5000 feet. We now call an area of 200 iugera a 
centuria, as Varro again states ; but formerly the 
centuria was so called because it contained 100 iugera, 
but afterwards when it was doubled it retained the 
same name, just as the tribes were so called because 
the people were divided into three parts but now, 
though many times more numerous, still keep their 
old name. It was proper that we should begin by 
briefly mentioning these facts first, as being rele- 
vant to and closely connected with the system of 
calculation which we are going to set forth. 

" I.e. iugerum is derived from the verb iungere " to join ", 
because it consists of two square actus joined together. 


Nunc veniamus ad propositum. lugeri partes 
non omnes posuimus,^ sed eas, quae cadunt in aesti- 
mationem facti operis. Nam minores persequi super- 
vacuum fuit, pro quibus nulla merces dependitur.^ 
Igitur (ut diximus) iugerum habet quadratorum 
pedum viginti octo milia et octingentos : qui pedes 
efficiunt scripula cclxxxviii. Ut autem a minima 
parte, id ^ est, ab dimidio scripulo incipiam, pars 
quingentesima septuagesima sexta pedes efficit 
quinquaginta ; id est iugeri dimidium scripulum. 
Pars ducentesima octogesima octava pedes centum; 
hoc est scripulum.^ Pars cxliv pedes cc, hoc est 
scripula duo. Pars septuagesima et secunda pedes 
cccc, hoc est ^ sextula in qua sunt scripula quattuor. 
Pars quadx'agesima octava ^ pedes do, hoc est sici- 

^ posuimus edd. : possumus SAac. 

* dependitur SAc : deprehenditur a. 

* ut autem — id om. A : autem om. Sac. 

* post est scripulum add. pars septuagesima et secunda 

* sextula Aac : sextulam S. 

* quadragesima octava om. a. 

The divisions of a iugerum mentioned hy Columella with the 

number of square feet, both Roman and English, in each division. 


Latin name of the 

of scri- 




divisions of the 

pula in 

tions of 








Dimidium scripulum ^ 




Scripulum 1 




Duo scripula 
















BOOK V. I. 8-9 

Let us now come to our real purpose. We have 
not put down all the parts of the iugerum but only 
those which enter into the estimation of work done. 
For it was needless to follow out the smaller fractions 
on which no business transaction depends. The 
iugerum, therefore, as we have said, contains 28,8)0 
square feet, which number of feet is equivalent to 288 
scripula. But to begin with the smallest fraction, the 
haM-scripulum, the 576th part of a iugerum, contains 
50 feet ; it is the haif-scripuluiii of the iugerum. The 
288th part of the iugerum contains 100 feet ; this is a 
scripulum. The 144th part contains 200 feet, that is 
two scripula. The 72nd part contains 400 feet and is a 
sextula, in which there are four scripula. The 48th 
part, containing 600 feet, is a sicilicus, in which there 

The divisions of a iugerum {continued). 


Latin name of the 

of scri- 




divisions of the 

pula in 

tions of 










































































10 licus, in quo sunt scripula sex. Pars vigesima quarta 
pedes mille ducentos, hoc est semuncia, in qua 
scripula xii. Pars duodecima duo milia et quadrin- 
gentos, hoc est uncia, in qua sunt scripula xxiv. Pars 
sexta pedes quattuor milia et octingentos, hoc est 
sextans, in quo sunt scripula xlviii. Pars quarta 
pedes 1 septem milia et ducentos, hoc est quadrans, in 

11 quo sunt scripula Lxxii. Pars tertia pedes novem 
milia, et sexcentos, hoc est triens, in quo sunt scripula 
xcvi. Pars tertia et duodecima pedes duodecim 
milia hoc est quincunx, in quo sunt scripula cxx. 
Pars dimidia pedes quattuordecim milia et quadrin- 
gentos, hoc est semis, in quo sunt scripula cxliv. 
Pars dimidia et duodecima, pedes sexdecim milia et 
octingentos, hoc est septunx, in quo sunt scripula 
CLXviii. Partes duae tertiae pedes decern novem 
milia et ducentos, hoc est bes, in quo sunt scripula 
cxcii. Partes tres quartae pedes unum et viginti 
milia et sexcentos, hoc est dodrans, in quo sunt 

12 scripula ccxvi. Pars dimidia et tertia ped. viginti 
quattuor milia, hoc est dextans,^ in quo sunt scripula 
CCXL.3 Partes duae tertiae * et una quarta pedes 
viginti sex milia et quadringentos, hoc est deunx, in 
quo sunt scripula cclxiv, lugerum pedes viginti 
octo milia et octingentos, hoc est as,^ in quo sunt 

13 scripula cclxxxviii. lugeri autem modus ® si semper 
quadraret, et in agendis mensuris in longitudinem 
haberet pedes ccxl,'^ in^ latitudinem pedes cxx, 
expeditissimum esset eius ratiocinium. Sed quo- 
niam diversae formae agrorum veniunt in disputa- 

^ pedes om. A. 

* destas SA. 

* pars dimidia — ccxl om. ac. 

* tertiae et II 8A : duae tertiae et ac. 


BOOK V. I. 9-13 

are six scripula. The 24th part, containing 1200 feet, 10 
is a semi-uncia, in which there are 12 scripula. The 
12th part, containing 2400 feet, is the uncia, in which 
there are 24 scripula. The 6th part, containing 4800 
feet, is a sextans, in which there are 48 scripula. The 
4th part, containing 7200 feet is a quadra7is, in which 
there are 72 scripula. The 3rd part, containing 9600 11 
feet, is a triens, in which there are 96 scripula. The 
3rd part plus the 12th part, containing 12,000 feet, is 
the quincunx, in which there are 120 scripula. The 
half of a iugerum, containing 14,400 feet, is a semis, in 
which there are 144 scripula. A half plus a 12th part, 
containing 16,800 feet, is a septunx, in which there are 
168 scriptda. Two-thirds of a iugerum, containing 
19,200 feet, is a hes, in which there are 192 scripula. 
Three-quarters, containing 21,600 feet, is a dodrans, 
in which there are 216 scripula. A half plus a third, 12 
containing 24,000 feet, is a dextans, in which there are 
240 scripula. Two-thirds plus a quarter, containing 
26,400 feet, is a deunx, in which there are 264 scripula. 
A iugerujn, containing 28,800 feet, is the as,'^ in which 13 
there are 288 scripula. If the form of the iugerum 
were always rectangular and, when measurements 
were being taken, were always 240 feet long and 
120 feet wide, the calculation would be very quickly 
done ; but since pieces of land of different shapes 
come to be the subjects of dispute, we will give below 

" The as is the unit which forms the standard in Roman 
measures, weights and coinage. 

* as SAc : axis a. 

* modus ac : modum SA. 

^ ccxL a : CXL c : ccXLViii 8 A. 

* in add. edd. 



tionem, cuiusque generis species subiciemus, quibus 
quasi formulis utemur. 

II. Omnis ager aut quadratus, aut longus, aut 
cuneatus, aut triquetrus, aut rotundus, aut etiam 
semicirculi vel arcus, nonnunquam etiam plurium 
angulorum fox'mam exhibet.^ Quadrati mensura 
facillima est. Nam cum sit undique pedum totidem, 
multiplicantur in se duo latera, et quae summa ex 
multiplicatione efFecta est, earn dicemus esse quad- 
ratorum pedum. Tanquam est locus quoquo versus 
c pedum : ducimus centies centenos, fiunt decern 
milia. Dicemus igitur eum locum habere decern 
milia pedum quadratorum, quae efficiunt iugeri 
trientem, et sextulam, pro qua portione operis effecti 
numerationem facere oportebit. 

At si longior fuerit, quam latior, ut exempli causa 
iugeri forma pedes habeat longitudinis ccxl, lati- 
tudinis pedes cxx, ita ut paulo ante dixi, latitudinis 
pedes cum longitudinis pedibus sic multiplicabis. 
Centies vicies duceni quadrageni fiunt viginti octo 
milia et octingenti. Dicemus iugerum agri tot 

^ exibet ac: exiget 8 A. 

« I.e. 9600 + 400 Roman square feet = 10,000 square feet. 

BOOK V. I. 13-11. 3 

specimens of every kind of shape which we will use as 

II. Every piece of land is square, or long, or wedge- The shapes 
shaped, or triangular, or round, or else presents the the'rrm-'*"'^ 
form of a semi-circle or of the arc of a circle, some- mensions. 
times also of a polygon. The measuring of a square 
is very easy ; for, since it has the same number of feet 
on every one of its sides, two sides are multiplied 
together and the product of this multiplication we 
shall say is the number of square feet. For example 

100 feet 

100 feet 

square feet 

100 feet 

100 feet 

if an area were 100 feet each way, we multiply 100 by 
100 and the result is 10,000. We shall, therefore, say 
that the area contains 10,000 square feet, which 
make a iriens {\) plus a sextula (^) of a iugenim,^ and 
on the basis of this fraction we shall have to calculate 
the amount of work done. 

If it is longer than it is broad (for example let the 
form of the iugerum have 240 feet of length and 120 of 
breadth), as I said just now, you will multiply the feet 
of the breadth with the feet of the length in the 
following manner : 120 times 240 make 28,800, and we 
shall say that the iugerum of land contains this number 



4 pedes quadrates habere. Similiterque omnis longi- 
tudinis pedes cum pedibus latitudinis multiplica- 
bimus. ^ 

Sin autem cuneatus ager fuerit, ut puta longus 
pedes centum, latus ex una parte pedes xx, et ex 
altera pedes x: tunc duas latitudines componemus, 
fiet utraque summa pedes xxx. Huius pars dimidia 
est quindecim ; ^ decies et quinquies longitudinem 
multiplicando efficiemus pedes niille et quingentos. 
Hos igitur in eo cuneo quadrates pedes esse dicemus, 
quae pars erit iugeri semuncia et scripula tria. 

5 At si tribus paribus ^ lateribus triquetrum metiri 
debueris, banc formam sequeris. Esto ager tri- 
angulus pedum quoquo versus tricentorum. Hunc 
numerum in se multiplicato. Fiunt pedum nona- 
ginta milia. Huius summae partem tertiam sumito, 

^ omnis longitudinis pedes cum pedibus latitudinis multi- 
plicabimus SAac : fiet de omnibus agris, quorum longitudo 
maior sit latitudine Schneider. 

* quindecim edd. : decus quinquies SA : oni. ac. 

* paribus ac : om, SA, 

» I.e. 1200 + 300 Roman square feet = 1500 square feet. 

BOOK V. 11. 3-5 

of square feet. Similarly we shall always multiply 
the feet of the length with those of the width. 

240 feet 



28,800 square feet 



240 feet 

But if the field is wedge-shaped (for instance, 
suppose it to be 100 feet long and 20 feet broad on one 
side and 10 feet on the other side) we shall add the 
two breadths together, making a total of 30 feet. 
Half of this sum is 15, and by multiplying the longi- 
tude by 15 we shall obtain the result of 1500. We 
shall say then that this is the number of square feet 
in the wedge-shaped field which will be a semuncia 
plus three scripula (ofg of ^ iugerum)."' 
100 feet 

20 feet 

1500 square feet 

10 feet 

100 feet 

But if you have to measure a triangle with three 
equal sides, you will follow this formula. Suppose 
the field to be triangular, three hundred feet on every 
side. Multiply this number by itself and the result 
is 90,000 feet. Take a third part of this sum, that is 



id est triginta milia. Item sumito decumam, id est 
novem milia. Utramque summam componito. Fiunt 
pedes triginta novem milia. Dicemus hanc sum- 
mam pedum quadratorum esse in eo triquetro, quae 
mensura efficit iugerum, et trientem, et ^ sicilieum. 

Sed si triangulus disparibus fuerit lateribus ager, 
tanquam in subiecta forma, quae habet rectum 
6 angulum, aliter ratiocinium ordinabitur. Esto unius 
lateris linea, pedum ^ quinquaginta, et alterius pedum 
centum. Has duas summas in se multiplicato ; ' quin- 
quagies centeni fiunt quinque milia. Horum pars 
dimidia duo milia quingeni, quae pars iugeri unciam 
et scripulum efficit. Si rotundus ager erit, ut circuli 
speciem habeat, sic pedes sumito.* Esto ^ area 

^ et ac : om. SA. 

^ pedum edd. : pedes SAac. 

^ multiplicato c : multiplico SAa. 

* pedes sumito edd. : podis minito SA : sic pedis mu- 
miiito a. 

* esto om. S. 

' I.e. 28,800 + 9600 + 600 (Roman) square feet = 39,000 
square feet. 

* I.e. 2400 + 100 (Roman) square feet = 2500 square 


BOOK V. II. 5-6 

30,000. Likewise take a tenth part, that is 9,000. 
Add the two numbers together ; the result is 
39,000. We shall say that this is the total number of 
square feet in this triangle, which measure makes a 
iugerum, plus a triens (^), plus a sicilicus (4^)." 

But if your field is triangular with unequal sides, as 
in the figure given below, which has a right angle, 
the calculation will be ordered differently. Let the 
line on one side of the right angle be 50 feet long and 
that on the other side 100 feet. Multiply these two 
numbers together; 50 times 100 makes 5000; half 
of this is 2500, which makes an uncia {j^ of a iugerum) 
-{- a scripubtm (jsg).^ 

50 feet 

100 feet 

If the field is to be round, so as to have the appear- 
ance of a circle, reckon the number of feet as 
follows. Let there be a circular area of which the 



rotunda, cuius diametros,! id est dimensio, habeat 
pedes Lxx. Hoc in se multiplicato,^ septuagies septua- 
geni fiunt ^ quattuor milia et nongenti. Hanc 
summam undecies multiplicato, fiunt pedes quinqua- 
ginta tria milia nongenti. Huius summae quartam 
decimam subduco, scilicet pedes tria milia octin- 
genti et quinquaginta. Hos esse quadratos in eo 
circulo dico, quae summa efficit iugei'i sexcunciam, 
scripula duo et dimidium. 

Si semicirculus fuerit ager, cuius basis habeat 
pedes cxL, curvaturae autem latitudo ^ pedes lxx : 
oportebit multiplicare latitudinem cum basi. Septua- 
gies centeni quadrageni fiunt novem milia et 
octingenti. Haec undecies multiplicata fiunt centum 
septem milia et octingenti; Huius summae quarta 
decima est septem milia et septingenti. Hos pedes 
esse dicemus in semicirculo, qui efficiunt iugeri 
quadrantem scripula quinque. 

1 diametros ac : dimidia metres SA. 
" multiplicato c : multiplico SAa. 
^ fiunt om. SAac. 
* latitudo ac : latitudinem SA. 

" I.e. a sexcvncia (36 scripula) and 2^ scripula = 38^ scri- 
pula = 3850 square feet, 

'' A quadrans (72 scripula) and 5 scripula — 77 scripula = 
7700 square feet. 


BOOK V. n. 6-8 

diameter (that is, the measurement across) is 70 
feet. Multiply this number by itself: 70 times 70 
makes 4900. Multiply this sum by 11 and the result 
is 53,900 feet. I subtract a fourteenth part of this 

sum, namely 3850, and this I declare to be the 
number of square feet in the circle, which sum 
amounts to a sexcuncia of a iugerum and two scripula 
(T44) ^i^d a \ia\i scripulum (5^).* 

If the piece of land is to be semi-circular and its 
base measures 140 feet and the depth of the circular 
portion is 70 feet, it will be necessary to multiply the 

/ Total 


/ area of 

/ semicircle 

'^ \ 

/ 7700 square 

/ feet 

140 feet 
depth by the base. 70 times 140 makes 9800. This 
sum multiplied by 11 makes 107,800, and a fourteenth 
part of this is 7700. This we shall say is the number 
of square feet in the semi-circle, which makes a 
quadrans (^) of a iugerum and 5 scripula (288)-'' 



9 Si autem minus quam semicirculus erit, arcum sic 
metiemur. Esto arcus, cuius basis habeat pedes 
XVI, latitude autem pedes iv. Latitudinem cum basi 
pono. Fit utrumque pedes xx. Hoc duco quater. 
Fiunt Lxxx. Horum pars dimidia est xl. Item 
sedecim pedum, qui sunt basis, pars dimidia viii. 
Hi VIII in se multiplicati, fiunt Lxiv.^ Quartam 
decimam partem duco,^ ea efficit pedes iv paulo 
amplius. Hos adicies ad quadraginta.^ Fit utraque * 
summa pedes xliv. Hos in arcu quadratos ^ esse 
dico, qui faciunt iugeri dimidium scripulum, quinta et 
vigesima ^ parte minus. 

10 Si fuerit sex angulorum, in quadratos pedes sic redi- 
gitur. Elisto hexagonum quoquo versus lineis pedum 
XXX, Latus unum in se multiplico. Tricies triceni 
fiunt Dcccc. Huius summae tertiam partem statue 
ccc, eiusdem partem decumam xc. Fiunt cccxc. 

^ Hi VIII in se multiplicati fiunt lxiv om. A. 

* duco edd. : dico SAac. 

* quadraginta ac : quadragies SA. 

* utraque ac : utrumque <S^. 

* quadratos edd. : quadratus SA : quadrato ac. 

* quinta et vigesima ac : nona SA. 

" Actually 4-57. 

* Half a scripulum is 50 square feet, ^\ of a scripulum is 4 
square feet, whereas the actual total is 44 square feet. 


BOOK V. 11. 9-10 

But if the area is to be less than a semicircle, we 
shall measure the arc as follows : let there be an arc 
the base of which measures 16 feet and the depth 
4 feet. I add the base to the depth, which together 
make 20 feet. This I multiply by 4, making 80, of 
which the half is 40. Again, the half of 16 feet, which 

16 feet 

form the base, is 8. This I multiply by itself, making 
61. I then take a fourteenth part of this, which 
make 4 feet and a little more.'* This you will add to 
40, and together they make a total of 44. This I 
declare to be the number of square feet in the arc, 
which is equivalent to half a scripulum (576^ of a 
mgerum) less ^ of a scripulum.^ 

If the area has six angles, it is reduced to square 10 
feet in the following manner. Let there be a 
30 feet 

30 feet 

30 feet 

Total area 

square feet 

30 feet 

30 feet 
hexagon, each side of which measures 30 feet. I 
multiply one side by itself: 30 times 30 makes 900. 
Of this sum I take one-third, which is 300, a tenth part 
of which is 90 : total 390. This must be multiplied 



Hoc sexies ducendum est, quoniam sex latera sunt, 
quae consummata efficiunt duo milia trecenteni et 
quadraginta. Tot igitur pedes quadratos esse 
dicemus. Itaque ^ erit iugeri uncia dimidio scripulo 
et decima parte scripuli minus. 

III. His igitur velut primordiis talis ratiocinii 
perceptis non difficiliter mensuras inibimus agrorum, 
quorum nunc omnes persequi species et longum et 
arduum est. Duas etiam nunc formulas praepositis 
adiciam,^ quibus frequenter utuntur agricolae in 
disponendis seminibus. 

Esto ager longus pedes mille ducentos, latus pedes 
cxx. In eo vites disponendae sunt ita, ut quini pedes 
inter ordines relinquantur. Quaero ^ quot * semini- 
bus opus sit, cum quinum pedum spatia inter semina 
desiderantur. Duco quintam partem longitudinis, 
fiunt ccxl; et quintam partem latitudinis, hoc est 
XXIV. His utrisque summis semper singulos asses 
adicito, qui efficiunt extremos ordines, quos vocant 
angulares. Fit ergo altera summa ducentorum 
quadraginta unius, altera viginti quinque. Has 
summas sic multiplicato. Quinquies et vicies duceni 
quadrageni singuli, fiunt sex milia et viginti quinque. 
Totidem dices opus esse seminibus. 

Similiter inter ^ senos pedes si voles ponere, duces 
sextam partem longitudinis ^ mille ducentorum, fiunt 
cc, et sextam latitudinis ' cxx, id est xx. His summis 
singulos asses adicies quos dixi angulares esse. Fiunt 

^ itaque ac, ex. inque cor. A : inque S. 

* adiciam ac : indiciam SA. 
' quaero om. S. 

* quod SAac. 

* inter ac : om. SA. 

* sextam partem longitudinis Aac : longi S. 
' sextam partem post latitudinis add. S. 


BOOK V. II. lo-iii. 3 

by 6, because there are 6 sides : the product is 2310. 
We shall say, therefore, that this is the number of 
square feet. It will, then, be equivalent to an imcia 
(A of a iugeruni) less half a scripulum (5^) plus -^ of 
a scripulum."^ 

III. Having grasped what may be called the first How many 
principles of this kind of calculation, we shall have plants can a 

T JU T . 1 lugerum of 

no dimculty about entering upon the measurement land con- 
of pieces of land, with the various kinds of which it fnJgrvals of 
is a long and arduous task to deal at this point. I three to tan 
will now also add, in addition to those which I have '^^ ^^^"^ ' 
already set forth, two rules which husbandmen often 
employ in the setting out of plants. 

Suppose that you have a piece of land 1200 feet 
long and 120 feet wide, in which vines have to be; 
so arranged that five feet are left between the rows. 
How many plants, I ask, are necessary when spaces 
of five feet are required between the plants. I take 2 
a fifth of the length, which makes 240, and a fifth of 
the breadth, which makes 24. To each of these 
numbers always add one unit, which forms the 
outermost row, and which they call the angular row ; 
one number, therefore amounts to 241, the other to 
25. Multiply these figures as follows : 25 times 
241 makes 6025. This, you will say, is the number 3 
of plants required. 

Similarly, if you wish to set them six feet apart, 
you will take a sixth of the longitude (which is 1200), 
that is 200, and a sixth of the breadth (which is 120), 
that is 20. To each of these figures you will add 
what I called the angular units. The numbers are 

" Y^ of a iugerum = 2400 square feet : half a scripulum = 
50 square feet : -[\ of a scripulum — 10 : therefore 2400 — 60 
= 2340 square feet. 



cci, et XXI. Has summas inter se multiplicabis, vicies 
et semel ducentos et unum, atque ita efficies quattuor 
milia ducentos et viginti unum.^ Totidem seminibus 
opus esse dices. 

Similiter si inter septenos pedes ponere voles, 
septimam partem longitudinis et latitudinis duces, 
et adicies asses angulares, eodem modo eodemque ^ 
ordine ^ consummabis numerum seminum. Denique 
quotcunque pedum spatia facienda censueris,'* totam 
partem longitudinis et latitudinis duces, et prae- 
dictos asses adicies. Haec cum ita sint, sequitur 
ut iugerum agri, quod habet pedes ccxl longitudinis 
et latitudinis pedes ^ cxx, recipiat inter pedes ternos 
(hoc enim spatium minimum esse placet vitibus 
ponendis) per longitudinem semina lxxxi, per 
latitudinem inter quinos pedes semina xxv. Qui 
numeri inter se multiplicati fiunt seminum duo milia 
et viginti quinque. 

Vel si ^ quoquo versus inter quaternos pedes vinea 
erit disposita, longitudinis ordo habebit semina Lxi, 
latitudinis xxxi, qui numeri efficiunt in iugero vites 
mille octingentas et nonaginta unam. Vel si in 
longitudinem per quaternos pedes, in latitudinem 
per quinos pedes fuerit disposita, ordo longitudinis 
habebit semina lxi, latitudinis xxv. Quod si ' inter 
quinos pedes consitio fuerit, per longitudinem ordinis 
habebit semina xlix, et rursus per latitudinem semina 
xxv. Qui numeri duo inter se multiplicati efficiunt 
mille ducentum et viginti quinque. At si per senos 

1 XXI ac : XI 8A. 

* -que Aac : quae S. 

* ordine ac : ordines SA. 

* censueris Aac : censeris S. 

' CCXL longitudinis et latitudinis pedes ac : om. SA. 

* vel si xxv a : versi xxv SA : om. c. 

BOOK V. III. 3-7 

201 and 21. These sums you will multiply together, 
21 times 201, and you will get 4221. This, you will 
say, is the number of plants required. 

Similarly, if you wish to set them seven feet apart, 
you will take a seventh of the length and of the 
breadth and you will add the angular units, and by 
the same method and the same arrangement you will 
make up the number of the plants. In a word, how- 
ever many feet you have decided for the distance 
between the plants, you will take the total length 
and the total breadth and add the units mentioned 
above. This being so, it follows that the iugerum of 
land, which is 240 feet long and 120 feet broad, if the 
distance between the plants is three feet (and this 
we consider to be the smallest distance which should 
be left when planting vines), will accommodate 81 
plants in its length, and in its breadth, with a dis- 
tance of five feet between them, it will hold 25 plants. 
These numbers when multiplied together make 

If the vineyard is arranged with intervals of four 
feet each way, the row which runs lengthways will 
contain 61 plants, and the row which runs breadth- 
ways 31 plants ; this gives 1891 vines to a iugerum. 
If the vineyard be laid out so that there are intervals 
of four feet lengthways and five feet breadthways, 
the row which runs lengthways will have 61 plants 
and that which runs breadthways 25 plants. If the 
planting is carried out with intervals of five feet, the 
row will contain 49 plants lengthways and 25 breadth- 
ways ; thetwonumbersmultipliedtogether make 1225. 
If, however, you have decided to lay out the same area 

' si ac : om. SA. 



pedes eundem vitibus locum placuerit ordinare, nihil 
dubium est quin longitudini dandae sint xli vites, 
latitudini autem viginti una. Quae inter se multi- 
plicatae efficiunt numerum dccclxi. Sin autem inter 
septenos pedes vinea fuerit constituenda, ordo per 
longitudinem recipiet capita triginta quinque, per 
latitudinem xviii. Qui numeri inter se multiplicati 
efficiunt dcxxx. Totidem dicemus semina prae- 
paranda. At si inter octonos pedes vinea conseretur, 
ordo per longitudinem recipiet semina xxxi, per 
latitudinem autem xvi. Qui numeri inter se multi- 
plicati efficiunt ccccxcvi. At si inter novenos pedes, 
ordo in longitudinem recipiet semina viginti septem, 
et in latitudinem quattuordecim. Qui numeri inter 
se multiplicati faciunt ccclxxviii. Vel inter denos 
pedes, ordo longitudinis recipiet semina xxv, latitu- 
dinis XIII. Hi numeri inter se multiplicati faciunt 
cccxxv, Et ne in infinitum procedat disputatio 
nostra, eadem portione, ut cuique placuerint^ laxiora 
spatia, semina faciemus. Ac de mensuris agrorum 
numerisque seminum dixisse abunde sit. Nunc ad 
Qrdinem redeo. 

IV. Vinearum provincialium plura genera esse com- 
peri. Sed ex iis, quas ipse incognovi,^ maxime pro- 
bantur velut arbusculae brevi crure sine adminiculo 
per se stantes : deinde quae pedaminibus adnixae 
singulis iugis imponuntur : eas rustici canteriatas 
appellant. Mox quae defixis arundinibus circum- 

1 placuerit SAac. 

* incognovi SA : cognovi ac. 

» See note on Book IV. 12. 2. 

BOOK V. III. 7-iv. I 

with the vines at intervals of six feet, there is no 
doubt that 41 vines must be assigned to the length 
and 21 to the breadth ; these numbers multiplied 
together make a total of 861. But if the vineyard 8 
has to be arranged with intervals of seven feet, a row 
will accommodate 35 heads lengthways and 18 
breadthways ; these numbers multiplied together 
make 630, and this, we shall say, is the number of 
plants which must be got ready. But if the vine- 
yard is to be planted with intervals of eight feet, a 
row will accommodate 31 plants lengthways and 16 
breadthways ; these numbers multiplied together 
make 496. If the interval is to be nine feet, a row 9 
will hold 27 plants lengthways and 14 breadthways ; 
these numbers multiplied together make 378. With 
intervals of ten feet, a row will hold 25 plants length- 
ways and 13 breadthways ; these numbers multiplied 
together make 325. So that our discussion may not 
be infinitely prolonged, we shall carry out our plant- 
ing by using the same proportion to suit the wider 
spacing which any one of us prefers. Let what we 
have said about the measurement of land and the 
number of plants suffice. I now return to my pro- 
posed order of subjects. 

IV. I have found that there are several kinds of Of the cui- 
vines in the provinces ; but of those of which I have yinci^ ^iw- 
personal knowledge those resembling small trees yards. 
and standing by themselves on a short stock without 
any suppport are the most highly approved. Next 
come those which are supported by props and placed 
each on a single frame ; these the peasants call 
" horsed "<» vines. Next come those which are 
fastened round canes fixed in the ground and are 
bent into curves and circles, their firm-wood branches 



vinctae ^ per statumina calamorum materiis ligatis in 
orbiculos gyrosque flectuntur ^ : eas non nulli 
characatas vocant. Ultima est conditio stratarum 
vitium, quae ab enata stirpe confestim velut proiectae 
per humum porriguntur. 

Omnium autem sationis fere eadem est conditio. 
Nam vel scrobe vel sulco semina deponuntur, quo- 
niam pastinationis expertes sunt exterarum gentium 
agricolae : quae tamen ipsa paene supervacua est his 
locis quibus solum putre et per se resolutum est : 
namque hoc imitamur arando, ut ait Vergilius, id est 
etiam pastinando. Itaque Campania, cum vicinum 
ex nobis capere possit exemplum, non utitur hac 
molitione terrae quia facilitas eius soli minorem 
operam desiderat. Sicubi autem densior ager pro- 
vincialis rustici ^ maiorem poscit impensam, quod 
nos pastinando efficimus, ille sulco facto consequitur, 
ut laxius subacto solo deponat semina. 

V. Sed ut singula earum quae proposui vinearum 
genera persequar, praedictum ordinem repetam. 
Vitis quae sine adminiculo suis viribus consistit, 
solutiore terra, scrobe ; densiore, sulco ponenda est. 
Sed et scrobes et sulci plurimum prosunt, si in locis 
temperatis,* in quibus aestas non est praefervida, 
ante annum fiant, quam vineta conserantur.^ Soli 

^ circumvinctae SAac : circummunitae edd, 

* flectuntur c : flectentur SAa. 

^ provincialem rusticum SAac : provincialis rustici edd. 

* temperatis a : tempatis c : terrae spatio S : prao spatio 

* ante — conserantur om. SA. 


« Oeorg. II. 184. 

* jiaatinare is to dig with a pastinum, a fork. 

BOOK V. IV. i-v. I 

being tied by means of props formed of reeds. These 
some people call " staked " vines. The type which 2 
comes last in esteem is the vine which lies flat on the 
ground and which, being as it were projected from 
the stock as soon as it grows out of the earth, stretches 
all over the ground. 

The conditions under which all these vines are 
planted are almost identical. The plants are placed 
either in a plant-hole or in a furrow, since the 
farmers of foreign races are unacquainted with 
trenching, which indeed is almost superfluous in 
places where the soil crumbles and has fallen to pieces 
of its own accord, for, as Vergil says ; * 

'Tis this that with the plough we imitate, 

that is to say in fact by trenching.* Thus 3 
the Campanians, though they might take a neigh- 
bouring example from us, do not employ this method 
of working the ground, because the ease with which 
their soil can be cultivated calls for less labour ; but 
wherever a dense soil calls for a greater expenditure 
on the part of the pi*ovincial peasant, what we effect 
by soil-preparation he achieves by making a furrow 
in order that he may set his plants in soil which has 
already been worked into a looser condition. 

V. But that I may deal particularly with each Methods of 
kind of the vine of which I have proposed to speak, v?ies[**"^ 
I will resume the order already mentioned. The 
vine which stands by virtue of its own strength with- 
out any prop must in rather loose soil be placed in a 
planting-hole, in denser soil in a furrow, but both 
planting-holes and furrows are very beneficial, if, in 
temperate regions where the summer is not ex- 
cessively hot, they are made a year before the vine- 



tamen ante bonitas exploranda est.^ Nam si ieiuno 
atque exili agro semina deponentur, sub ipsum 
tempus sationis scrobis aut sulcus faciendus est. Si 
ante annum fiant, quam vinea conseratur, scrobis ^ 
in longitudinem altitudinemque defossus tripedaneus 
abunde est, latitudine tamen bipedanea : vel si 
quaterna pedum spatia inter ordines relicturi sumus, 
commodius habetur eandem quoquo versus dare 
mensuram scrobibus, non amplius tamen quam in 
tres pedes altitudinis depressis. Ceterum quattuor 
angulis semina applicabuntur subiecta minuta terra, 
et ita scrobes adobruentur. 

Sed de spatiis ordinum eatenus praecipiendum 
habemus, ut intelligant agricolae, sive aratro vineas 
culturi sint, laxiora interordinia relinquenda, sive 
bidentibus, angustiora : sed neque spatiosiora quam 
decern pedum, neque contractiora quam quattuor. 
Multi tamen ordines ita disponunt, ut per rectam 
lineam binos pedes aut ut plurimum, ternos inter 
semina relinquant, transversa rursus laxiora spatia 
faciant,^ per quae vel fossor vel arator incedat. 

Sationis autem cura non alia debet esse, quam quae 
tradita est a me tertio volumine. Unum tamen huic 
consitioni Mago Carthaginiensis adicit,* ut semina 
ita deponantur, ne protinus totus scrobis terra com- 
pleatur, sed dimidia fere pars eius sequente biennio 
paulatim adaequetur. Sic enim putat vitem cogi 

^ si ante annum fiant -post exploranda est add. SA. 
^ scrobis SA : scrobibus ac. 
3 faciant ac : fiat SA . 
* adioit Aac : adigit S. 

" Two-pronged instruments. 
» Chapters 14-16. 


BOOK V. V. 1-4 

yards are planted. Inquiry, however, must first be 
made into the excellence of the soil ; for if the plants 
are going to be set in hungry and poor land, planting- 
holes or furrows must be made just before the time of 
planting. If they are made a year before the vine- 
yard is planted, it is quite enough for the planting- 
hole to be dug three feet in length and depth, but 
two feet in width ; or, if we are going to leave four 
feet between the rows, it is generally reckoned more 
convenient to give the planting-hole the same 
measurement in every dimension without, however, 
sinking them to a greater depth than three feet. 
Each plant, then, will be applied to the four corners 
after fine soil has been put into the bottom of the 
planting-holes, which will then be filled in. 

As to the spaces between the rows we have this 
much advice to offer, that farmers should understand 
that, if they intend to cultivate their vineyards with 
the plough, wider intervals must be left, but they can 
be narrower if hoes " are used ; but they should never 
be wider than ten feet or narrower than four. Many 
people, however, arrange the rows so as to leave two 
or at most three feet in a straight line between the 
plants, while on the other hand they make the 
transverse spaces wider, so that the digger or plough- 
man may pass freely. 

The precautions taken in planting ought not to 
differ from those which I directed in my Third Book.* 
Mago, the Carthaginian, however, makes one 
addition to this system of planting, namely, that the 
plants should be put into the ground in such a way 
that the whole plant-hole is not immediately filled 
with soil but about half of it is gradually levelled up 
in the two following years ; for he thinks that in this 



deorsum agere radices. Hoc ego siccis locis fieri 
utiliter non negaverim ; sed ubi aut uliginosa regie 
est, aut caeli status imbrifer, minime faciundum 
censeo. Nam consistens in semiplenis ^ scrobibus 
nimius ^ humor, antequam convalescant, semina 
6 necat. Quare utilius ^ existimo, repleri quidem 
scrobes stirpe deposita, sed cum semina compre- 
henderint, statim * post aequinoctium autumnale 
debere diligenter atque alte ablaqueari, et recisis 
radiculis, si quas in summo solo citaverint, post paucos 
dies obrui.^ Sic enim utrumque incommodum vita- 
bitur, ut nee radices in superiorem partem evocentur, 
neque immodicis pluviis parum valida vexentur 

6 semina. Ubi vero iam corroborata fuerint,^ nihil 
dubium est, quin caelestibus aquis plurimum iuven- 
tur. Itaque locis, quibus dementia hiemis permittit, 
adapertas vites relinquere et tota hieme ablaqueatas 
habere eas conveniet. 

De qualitate autem seminum inter auctores non 
convenit. Alii malleolo ' protinus conseri vineam 
melius existimant, alii viviradice : de qua re quid 

7 sentiam, iam superioribus professus sum. Et nunc 
tamen hoc adicio, esse quosdam agros, in quibus non 
aeque bene translata semina quam immota respon- 

^ semiplenis ac : semipleni SA. 

* nimius ac : seminis A : om. S. 

' quare utilius ac : quarum et ilius SA. 

* comprehend erint statim ac : om. SA. 
' obrui SA : adobrui ac. 

* corroborata fuerint Pontedera : corroboraverint ac : 
comprobaverunt SA . 

' malleolo ac : malleoli SA. 

" ablaqueare is to dig round a plant so as to make a shallow 
furrow to hold water. 

* Book ill. 14. 2. 


BOOK V. V. 4-7 

way the vine is forced to drive its roots downwards. 
I shall not deny that this can be done with advantage 
in dry places ; but where either the district is marshy 
or the climate rainy, I am of opinion that it should 
certainly not be done, for excessive moisture standing 
in the half-filled plant-holes kills the plants before 
they can gain strength. Therefore I think that it 
is more expedient that the plant-holes should be 
filled up again after the vine-stock has been put 
into them, but, when the plants have taken root, 
immediately after the autumn equinox, the soil round 
them ought to be carefully dug up " to a good depth 
and, after the rootlets which they may have put forth 
on the surface of the ground have been cut away, the 
earth ought to be filled in again after a few days. 
In this way two inconveniences will be avoided ; 
firstly, the roots are not drawn to the upper part of 
the soil, and, secondly, the plants will not be troubled 
by excessive rains while they are still weak. When, 
however, they have become quite strong, there is no 
doubt that they are greatly benefited by the rains 
from heaven ; and so, in places where the mildness 
of the winter allows it, it will be expedient to leave 
the vines uncovered and to keep the soil round them 
loose the whole winter. 

As regards the sort of vine-plants, the 
authorities are not agreed amongst themselves. 
Some think that it is better to plant a vineyard with 
mallet-shoots from the first, others think that it 
should be planted with quick-sets ; I have already 
stated my opinion in the earlier part of this work.^ 
However, I now add this further point, that there are 
some lands where vines which have been transplanted 
do not answer as well as those which have not been 


VOL. II. c 


deant : sed istud rarissime accidere. Notandum 
item diligenter explorandum esse,^ 

quid quaeque ferat regio, quid quaeque recuset. 

Depositam ergo stirpem, id est, malleolum vel vivi- 

8 radicem,^ formare sic convenit, ut vitis sine pedamine 
consistat. Hoc autem protinus effici non potest. 
Nam nisi adminiculum tenerae viti ^ atque infirmae * 
contribueris, prorepens pampinus terrae se applicabit.^ 
Itaque posito semini arundo adnectitur, quae velut 
infantiam eius tueatur atque educet, producatque in 
tantam staturam, quantam permittit agricola. Ea 
porro non debet esse sublimis : nam usque in sesqui- 

9 pedem coercenda est. Cum deinde robur accipit, et 
iam sine adiumento consistere valet, aut capitis aut 
bracchiorum incrementis adolescit. Nam duae species 
huius quoque culturae sunt. Alii capitatas vineas, 
alii bracchiatas magis probant. Quibus cordi est in 
bracchia vitem componere, convenit a summa parte, 
qua decisa novella vitis est, quicquid iuxta cicatricem 
citaverit, conservari, et in quattuor bracchia pedalis 
mensurae dividere, ita ut omnem partem caeli * 

10 singula aspiciant. Sed haec bracchia non statim 
primo anno tam procera submittuntur, ne oneretur 
exilitas vitis ; sed compluribus putationibus in prae- 
dictam mensuram educuntur. Deinde ex bracchiis 
quasi quaedam cornua prominentia relinqui oportet, 

^ post explorandum esse add. versibus aliter SA. 
2 viviradicem ac : viridem SA . 
^ vite add. edd. 

* infirmae ac : infirmum SA . 

* applicabit ac : adplicavit SA. 

* celiac : cesi SA. 

Verg. Oeorg. I. 53. 

Not, however, pointing straight upwards. 


BOOK V. V. 7-IO 

moved, but that this happens very rarely. It must 
also be noted that we ought to try diligently to dis- 
cover : 

What every clime may yield and what refuse." 

When, therefore, the plant has been put into the 
ground, whether it be a mallet-shoot or a quick-set, 
it is proper to adjust it in such a way that the vine 
may stand up without any prop. This, however, 8 
cannot be achieved immediately. For unless you 
have provided the vine with a support when it is 
tender and weak, the young shoots will creep along and 
keep close to the ground. So, when the plant is set 
in the earth, a reed is attached to it, so that it may, 
as it were, watch over its infancy and train it and 
raise it to such stature as the husbandman allows it 
to reach. This, moreover, ought not to be high, for 
it must be checked when it reaches a foot and a half. 
Afterwards, when it gains strength and can already 9 
stand without any help, it comes to maturity by the 
growth of its head or its branches. For here too 
there are two methods of cultivation, some people 
preferring vines which grow to a head, others those 
which grow out in arms. Those who delight in 
shaping a vine into arms should preserve whatever 
it puts forth near the scar where the young vine has 
had its top removed, and divide it into four arms a 
foot long in such a way that each of them looks 
towards a different region of the sky.* But these arms 10 
are not allowed to reach this height immediately in 
the first year, lest the vine be too heavily laden while 
it is still weak, but they must only reach the length 
which I have indicated after numerous prunings. 
Next there must be left projecting from these arms 



atque ita totam vitem omni parte in orbem difFundi. 

11 Putationis autem ratio eadem ^ est, quae in iugatis 
vitibus : uno tamen difFert, quod pro materiis 
longioribus pollices quaternum aut quinum gemmarum 
relinquuntur : pro custodibus autem bigemmes reseces 
fiunt. In ea deinde vinea quam capitatam diximus, 
iuxta ipsam matrem usque ad corpus sarmentum ^ 
detrahitur, una aut altera tantummodo gemma 

12 relieta, quae ipsi trunco adhaeret. Hoc autem riguis 
aut pinguissimis locis fieri tuto potest, cum vires 
terrae et fructum et materias valent praebere. 
Maxime autem aratris excolunt,^ qui sic formatas 
vineas habent, eamque rationem sequuntur detra- 
hendi vitibus bracchia, quod ipsa capita sine ulla 
extantia neque aratro neque bubus obnoxia sunt. 
Nam in bracchiatis plerumque fit, ut aut crure aut 
cornibus boum ramuli vitium defringantur, saepe 
etiam stiva, dum sedulus arator vomere perstringere 
ordinem, et quam proximam partem vitium excolere 

13 Atque haec quidem cultura vel bracchiatis vel capi- 
tatis antequam gemment, adhibetur. Cum deinde 
germinaverint, fossor insequitur, ac bidentibus eas 
partes subigit, quas bubulcus non potuit pertingere. 
Mox ubi materias vitis exigit, insequitur pampinator 
et supervacuos deterget fructuososque palmites sub- 

* eadem ac : nam eodem 8 A. 

* sarmentum ac : lumbrae A : inmte (?) 5. 
' excolxmt ac : cxcoli S : excolis A. 

" Cf. Book IV. 21. 3. » I.e. sideways. 


BOOK V. V. 10-13 

what may be called horns, and thus the whole vine 
must be spread in a circular form on all sides. The 11 
method of pruning is the same as for vines which 
are trained on frames, though it differs in one respect, 
namely, that instead of longer firm- wood branches 
stumps with four or five " eyes " are left, and instead 
of " keepers " " short-cut branches with two " eyes " 
are formed. Then in the vine which we described 
as growing to a head, the shoot is pulled off close to 
the mother-vine right up to the stock, one or two 

eyes " only being left which adhere to the trunk 
itself. This can be done with safety in well- 12 
watered and very rich districts when the strength of 
the earth can supply both fruit and firm-wood. 
Those who have vineyards formed in this way culti- 
vate them mainly with ploughs and follow this 
method of pulling off the arms from the vines, 
because the heads themselves, having nothing pro- 
jecting'' from them, are not liable to damage from 
the plough or from the oxen. For in vines which 
grow out into arms it generally happens that the 
small bi'anches are broken off by the legs or horns 
of the oxen, and often too by the handle of the plough 
while the careful ploughman is striving to graze the 
edge of the row with the ploughshare and to cultivate 
the ground as near as possible to the vines. 

Such then is the cultivation applied to vines 13 
whether they grow to arms or to a head, before they 
bud. When they have budded, a digger follows the 
ploughman and breaks with a hoe the parts which 
the ploughman could not reach. Then, when the 
vine puts forth its firm- wood branches, the vine- 
trimmer follows and clears away the superfluous 
shoots and allows those which are fruitful to grow ; 



mittit, qui cum induruerunt, velut in coronam re- 
ligantur. Hoc duabus ex causis fit : una, ne libero 
excursu in luxuriam prorepant,^ omniaque alimenta 
pampini absumant ; altera, ut religata vitis rursus 
aditum bubulco fossorique in excolenda ^ se praebeat. 

14 Pampinandi autem modus is erit, ut opacis locis 
humidisque et frigidis aestate vitis nudetur, foliaque 
palmitibus detrahantur,^ ut maturitatem fructus 
capere possit, et ne situ putrescat : locis autem siccis 
calidisque et apricis e contrario palmitibus uvae con- 
tegantur ; et si parum pampinosa vitis est, advectis 
frondibus et interdum stramentis fructus muniatur. 

15 M. quidem Columella patruus meus, vir illustribus 
disciplinis eruditus, ac diligentissimus agricola Bae- 
ticae provinciae, sub ortu Caniculae palmeis tegetibus 
vineas adumbrabat, quoniam plerumque dicti sideris 
tempore quaedam partes eius regionis sic infestantur 
Euro, quern incolae Vulturnum appellant, ut nisi 
teguminibus vites opacentur, velut halitu flammeo 
fructus uratur. 

Atque haec capitatae bracchiataeque vitis cultura 
est. Nam ilia, quae uni iugo superponitur, aut quae 
materiis * submissis arundinum statuminibus per 
orbem connectitur, fere eandem curam exigit, quam 

16 iugata. Non nuUos tamen in vineis characatis 

^ prorepant SAac : properent edd. 

* excolendam SAac. 

3 detrahantur c : detrahuntur SAa. 

* materiis ac : materies <S^. 


BOOK V. V. 13-16 

and when these have hardened they are tied up into 
a kind of crown. This is done for two reasons : 
firstly, lest, if they are allowed to run free, the 
shoots should creep forward and become over- 
luxuriant, and use up all the shoot's nourishment, and, 
secondly, in oi-der that the vine, being tied back, 
may give the ploughman and the digger free access 
again for carrying on the cultivation of it. 

The following will be the method of trimming. 14 
In places which are shady and damp and cold, the 
vine should be stripped in summer and the leaves 
plucked from the shoots, so that the fruit may reach 
maturity and not become mouldy and rot away. In 
dry, warm and sunny places, on the contrary, the 
clusters of grapes should be covered by its shoots, and, 
if the vine is not sufficiently covered with foliage, 
the fruit should be protected with leaves brought from 
elsewhere and sometimes with straw. Indeed, my 15 
paternal uncle, Marcus Columella, a man learned in the 
noble sciences and a most industrious farmer of the 
province of Baetica, used to shelter his vines about the 
rising of the Dogstar with palm-mats, because usually 
during the period of the said constellation some 
parts of that district are so troubled by the East 
wind, which the inhabitants call Vulturnus, that, 
unless the vines are shaded with coverings, the fruit 
is scorched as it were with a fiery breath. 

Such is the method of cultivating both the vine 
which grows into a head and that which grows into 
arms. The vine which is placed on a single rail, or 
that of which the firm-wood is allowed to grow and 
which is tied in a circular form to props of reeds, 
requires almost the same treatment as that trained 
on a frame. I have, however, noticed that some 16 



animadverti, et maxime elvenaci ^ generis, prolixos 
palmites quasi propagines summo solo adobruere, 
deinde rursus ad ^ arundines erigere, et in fructum 
submittere, quos nostri agricolae mergos, Galli 
candosoccos ^ vocant, eosque adobruunt simplici ex 
causa, quod existiment, plus alimenti terram * prae- 
bere fructuariis flagellis. Itaque post vindemiam 
velut inutilia sarmenta decidunt, et a stirpe sub- 
movent. Nos autem praecipimus easdem virgas, 
cum a matre fuerint praecisae, sicubi demortuis 
vitibus ordines vacent, aut si novellam quis vineam 
instituere velit, pro viviradice ponere. Quoniam 
quidem partes sarmentorum, quae fuerant obrutae, 
satis multas habent radices, quae depositae scrobibus 
confestim comprehendant. 
17 Superest reliqua ilia cultura prostratae vineae, 
quae nisi violentissimo caeli statu suscipi non debet. 
Nam et difficilem laborem colonis exhibet, nee un- 
quam generosi saporis vinum praebet. Atque ubi 
regionis conditio solam earn culturam recipit,^ bi- 
pedaneis scrobibus malleolus deponitur. Qui cum 
egerminavit, ad unam materiam revocatur : eaque 
primo anno compescitur * in duas gemmas : sequente 
deinde, cum palmites profudit, unus "^ submittitur, 
ceteri decutiuntur. At ille qui submissus est, cum 

^ eluaenaci a : eluenaci c : et luennaci SA. 

" ad ac : om. SA. 

' andooccos SA : candos {corr. ocros) c : candos occos a. 

* plus alimenti terram ac : eius alimenta terri <S^. 
' recipit ac : recepit SA . 

* compescitur edd. : conspicitur SAac, 
' post unus add. cum SA. 


BOOK V. V. 16-17 

people when dealing with " staked " vines, especially 
those of the Helvenacan " kind, bury the sprawling 
shoots, as though they were layers, under the surface 
of the soil, and then again erect them on reeds and 
let them grow for fruit-bearing. These our husband- 
men call viergi (" divers "), while the Gauls call them 
candosocci (' ' layers ' ') , and they bury them for the simple 
reason that they think that the earth provides more 
nourishment for the fruit-bearing whips ; and so after 
the vintage they cut them off as useless shoots and 
remove them from the stem. Our advice, however, 
is that these same rods, when they have been cut 
away from the mother-vine, should be planted as 
quick-sets in any vacant spaces in the rows where 
vines have died or in a new vineyard which anyone 
wants to establish ; for indeed the parts of the shoots 
which had been buried have enough roots to take 
hold immediately if they are put into plant-holes. 

There still remains the cultivation of the vine 17 
which grows on the ground ; but this should not be 
undertaken except where the climate is very boister- 
ous ; for it presents a difficult task for the husband- 
men and it never produces wine of a generous 
flavour. Where local conditions admit of this form 
of cultivation only, a hammer-shoot is put into 
plant-holes two feet deep. When it has budded, 
it is reduced to one firm-wood branch ; this in the first 
year is confined to two " eyes." Then in the 
following year, when it has put forth a profusion of 
shoots, one is allowed to grow and the rest are 
struck off. The shoot which has been allowed to 
grow, when it has produced fruit, is pruned back to 

« See Book III. 2. 25 : Pliny, N.H. XIV. §§ 32-33; it pro- 
duced a wine of a pale yellow colour. 



fructum edidit, in earn longitudinem deputatur, uti 

18 iacens non excedat interordinii spatium. Nee magna 
est putationis differentia cubantis et stantis rectae 
vineae : nisi quod iacenti viti breviores materiae 
submitti debent, reseces quoque angustius in modum 
furunculorum relinqui, Sed ^ post putationem, quam 
utique autumno in eiusmodi vinea fieri oportet, vitis 
tota deflectitur ^ in alteram interordinium : atque 
ita pars ea quae fuerat occupata vel foditur vel aratur, 
et cum exculta ^ est, eandem vitem reeipit, ut altera 

19 quoque pars excoli possit. De pampinatione talis 
vineae parum inter auctores convenit. Alii negant * 
esse nudandam vitem, quo melius contra iniuriam 
ventorum ferarumque ^ fructum abscondat : aliis 
placet parcius pampinari, ut et vitis non in totum 
supervacuis frondibus oneretur, et tamen fructum 
vestire aut protegere possit : quae ratio mihi quoque 
commodior videtur. 

VI. Sed iam de vineis satis diximus. Nunc de 
arboribus praecipiendum est. Qui volet frequens et 
dispositum arbustum paribus spatiis fructuosumque 
habere, operam dabit, ne emortuis arboribus rarescat 
ac primam quamque senio aut tempestate afflictam 
submoveat, et in vicem novellam sobolem substituat. 
Id autem facile consequi poterit, si ulmorum semi- 

^ relinqui sed edd. : relictis et SA : relictis sed a : relinqui 
relictis c. 

^ deflectatur ac : deplectitur 8 A. 

' exculta ac : exeuncta SA. 

* negant ac : negent 8 A. ^ -que ac : quo 8 A. 

" I.e. for supporting vines. 

BOOK V. V. 17-VI. I 

such a distance that, as it Ues on the ground, it does 
not reach beyond the space between the rows. Nor 18 
is there a great difference between the pruning of a 
recumbent vine and of one which stands upright, 
except that the firm-wood branches in the vine which 
Hes on the ground should be allowed to grow to a 
shorter length and the stumps ought to be left 
narrower so as to resemble knobs. But after the prun- 
ing, which in this kind of vine ought naturally to be 
carried out in the autumn, the whole vine is bent 
aside into one of the two spaces between the rows ; and 
the part which was previously occupied is either dug 
up or ploughed, and when it has been thoroughly 
cultivated, it receives the same vine back again, so 
that the other space may also be cultivated. About 19 
the trimming of this kind of vineyard, there is little 
agreement between the authorities. Some say that 
the vine ought not to be stripped, that it may the 
better conceal the fruit from injury by the wind and 
by wild beasts ; others hold that it should be 
trimmed only sparingly, so that the vine may not be 
wholly burdened with superfluous leaves and yet 
may be able to cover or conceal the fruit. The latter 
method seems to me too to be the more expedient. 

VI. We have now said enough about vines ; we Plantations 
must now give directions about trees." He who wishes po^rt of ^'^^' 
to have a thick and profitable plantation for support- vines. 
ing vines with the trees set at equal distances from 
one another will take care that it does not grow sparse 
because the trees have died and will be careful to 
remove any tree as soon as it is aflSicted with old 
age or damaged by storm and substitute a young 
growth in its place. This he will easily be able to 
achieve if he has a nursery for elms ready prepared. 



narium paratum habuerit : quod ^ quomodo et qualis 
generis faciendum sit, non pigebit deinceps praeci- 

Ulmorum duo esse genera convenit, Gallicum et 
vernaculum : illud Atinia, hoc nostras dicitur. Ati- 
niani ulmum Tremellius Scrofa non ferre sameram, 
quod est semen eius arboris, falso est opinatus. Nam 
rariorem sine ^ dubio creat, et idcirco plerisque et 
sterilis videtur, seminibus inter frondem, quam prima 
germinatione edit, latentibus. Itaque nemo iam 
serit ex samera, sed ex sobolibus. Est autem ulmus 
longe laetior et procerior, quam nostra,^ frondemque 
iucundiorem bubus praebet : * qua ^ cum assidue 
pecus paveris, et postea generis alterius frondem dare 
institueris, fastidium bubus afferes.^ Itaque si fieri 
poterit, totum agrum genere uno Atiniae ulmi con- 
seremus : si minus, dabimus operam, ut in ordinibus 
disponendis pari numero vernaculas et Atinias alter- 
nemus. Ita semper mixta fronde utemur, et quasi 
hoc condimento illectae pecudes fortius iusta ^ 
cibariorum conficient. 

Sed vitem maxime populus videtur alere, deinde 
ulmus, post etiam fraxinus. Populus, quia raram, 
neque idoneam frondem pecori praebet, a plerisque 
repudiata est. Fraxinus, quia capris et ovibus 
gratissima est, nee inutilis bubus, locis asperis et 

^ quod ac : quo SA . * sine ac : semini SA . 

* nostras SAc : nostra a. * praebet ac : om. SA. 

* qua a : -que SA : quia c, * afferes SAa : adfert c. 
' iusta c : iuxta SAa. 

" From the town of Atina in Cispadane Gaul, 
* A contemporary of Varro and one of the speakers in 
Varro's agricultural treatise. 


BOOK V. VI. 1-5 

In what manner and of what kind of trees it must be 
formed, I shall have no objection to stating forth- 

It is generally agreed that there are two kinds of 
elms, the Gallic and the native ; the former is called 
the Atinian," the latter our own Italian. Tremellius 
Scrofa * was wrong when he expressed the opinion 
that the Atinian elm does not bear samera, which is 
the seed of that tree ; it certainly produces it but 
rather thinly and for that reason most people think 
that it is actually barren, since the seeds are hidden 
among the foliage which it produces at its first 
budding. That is why no one now grows it from seed 
but by means of shoots. This elm is much more 
luxuriant and taller than ours and produces foliage 
which is more acceptable to oxen ; when you have 
fed cattle on it constantly and then begin to give 
them foliage of the other kind, you will cause them to 
feel a loathing for the latter. Therefore, if possible, 
we shall plant a whole field with the Atinian kind of 
elm only, or, failing that, we shall take care, in arrang- 
ing the rows, to plant native and Atinian elms to the 
same number alternately. In this way we shall 
always have a mixture of foliage for use and the 
cattle, attracted by this kind of seasoning for their 
food, will finish off with greater heartiness the full 
ration allotted to them. 

But the poplar seems to sustain the vine best of 
all trees, then the elm, and after it the ash. The 
poplar tree, because it provides foliage which is 
scanty and unsuitable for cattle, has been rejected by 
most people ; the ash, because it is most acceptable to 
goats and sheep and of some use for oxen, is rightly 
planted in rough and mountainous places in which the 



montosis, quibus minus laetatur ulmus, recte seritur. 
Ulmus, quod et vitem commodissime patitur, et 
iucundissimum pabulum bubus affert, variisque 
generibus soli provenit, a plerisque praefertur. 
Itaque si^ arbustum novum instituere cordi est, 
seminaria ulmorum vel fraxinorum parentur ea 
ratione, quam deinceps subscripsimus. Nam populi 
melius cacuminibus in arbusto protinus deponuntur. 
Igitur pingui solo et niodice humido bipalio terram 
pastinabimus, ac diligenter occatam et resolutam 
humum verno tempore in areas componemus. 
Sameram deinde, quae iam rubicundi coloris erit, et 
compluribus diebus insolata iacuerit, ut aliquem 
tamen succum et lentorem habeat, iniciemus areis, 
et eas totas seminibus spisse contegemus, atque ita 
cribro putrem terram duos alte digitos incernemus, 
et modice rigabimus, stramentisque areas cooperie- 
mus, ne prodeuntia cacumina seminum ab avibus 
praerodantur. Ubi deinde prorepserint ^ plantae, 
stramenta colligemus, et manibus herbas carpemus : 
idque leviter et curiose faciendum est, ne adhue 
tenerae brevesque radiculae ulmorum convellantur. 
Atque ipsas quidem areas ita anguste compositas ha- 
bebimus, ut qui runeaturi sunt, medias partes earum 
facile manu contingant : nam si latiores fuerint, ipsa 
semina ^ proculcata noxam capient. Aestate deinde 
prius quam sol oriatur, aut ad vesperum, seminaria 

^ si S : cui ac : om. A, 
" prorepserit SAac. 

* ipsa semina Schneider : ipsiseminibus S : ipsi seminibus 


BOOK V. VI. 5-8 

elm is less flourishing. The elm is preferred by most 
people, because it both accommodates itself very well 
to the vine and provides food most acceptable to 
oxen and flourishes in various kinds of soil. So if it 
is desired to establish a new plantation, nurseries of 
elms or ash-trees should be prepared on the system 
which we have described hereafter ; for poplars are 
better put straight into the plantation in the form of 
tree-tops planted in the ground. We will, therefore, 
prepare the ground with a double mattock where 
the earth is rich and moderately moist, and in the 
spring-time, after the soil has been carefully harrowed 
and broken up, we shall mark it out into beds. We 
shall then cast upon the beds the elm-seed which 
will now be of a ruddy colour and has been exposed 
to the sun for several days, but still retaining some 
juice and stickiness, and we shall thickly cover the 
beds all over with the seed and scatter crumbling 
earth over them with a sieve to the depth of two 
inches and give them a moderate watering and cover 
the beds with straw, so that the heads of the plants, 
when they come up, may not be pecked off by birds. 
Then, when the plants have crept forth, we shall 
collect the straw and pull up the weeds by hand — ■ 
a process which must be carried out gently and 
carefully, so that the still tender and short little 
roots of the elms may not be pulled up with the 
weeds. We shall have the beds themselves planned 
so as to be so narrow that those who are going to 
weed them can easily reach to the middle of them 
with their hands ; for, if they are broader, the 
seedlings themselves will be trodden upon and receive 
damage. Then in the summer, before the sun rises 
or towards evening, the nursery-beds ought to be 



conspergi saepius ^ quam rigari debent : ^ et cum 
ternum pedum plantae fuerint, in aliud seminarium 
transferri, ac ne radices altius agant (quae res postmo- 
dum in eximendo magnum laborem affert, cum plantas 
in aliud seminarium transferemus) oportebit non 
maximos scrobiculos sesquipede inter se distantes 
fodere : deinde radices in nodum, si breves, vel in 
orbem coronae similem, si longiores erunt, inflecti, et 
oblitas fimo bubulo scrobiculis deponi, ac diligenter 

9 circumcalcari. Possunt etiam collectae cum stirpi- 
bus plantae eadem ratione disponi : quod in Atinia 
ulmo fieri necesse est, quae non seritur e samera. 
Sed haec ulmus autumni tempore melius quam vera 
disponitur; paulatimque ramuli eius manu detor- 
quentur, quoniam primo biennio ferri reformidat 
ictum. Tertio demum anno acuta falce abraditur,' 
atque ubi translationi iam idonea est, ex eo tempore 
autumni, quo terra imbribus permaduerit, usque in 
vernum tempus, antequam radix ulmi in eximendo 

10 delibretur, recte seritur. Inde^ in resoluta terra 
ternum pedum quoquo versus faciendi scrobes. At 
in densa, sulci eiusdem altitudinis et latitudinis, qui 
arbores recipiant,^ praeparandi. Sed deinde in solo 
roscido et nebuloso conserendae sunt ulmi, ut earum 
rami ad orientem et occidentem dirigantur, quo plus 

^ saepius ecW. : seminis ac : seminus 5^4. 

* debet SAac. 

' abraditur a : ablanditur SAc. 

* inde scripsi : in se SAac. 
' respiciat Aac : respiat S. 

" I.e those which are planted in the form of cuttings as 
opposed to seedlings. 


BOOK V. vr. 8-10 

sprinkled from time to time rather than soaked, and 
when the plantshave growth three feet highjthey should 
be transferred to another nursery-bed, and that they 
may not strike their roots too deep (for this after- 
wards involves much labour in lifting them when we 
are going to transfer them to another nursery-bed), 
we shall have to dig not very large plant-holes a foot 
and a half apart. Next the roots, if they are short, 
will have to be bent as it were into a knot, or, if they 
are too long, into a circle resembling a crown and, 
after being smeared with ox-dung, they must be 
lowered into small plant-holes and carefully trodden 
down all round. The plants, too, which are 9 
gathered on their stocks " can be set out in the 
same manner, and this is essential in the case of the 
Atinian elm which is not raised from seed. It is 
better to set this kind of elm in the autumn rather 
than in the spring, and its small branches are twisted 
little by little by hand, since in its first two years it 
dreads the blow of an iron implement. Finally, in 
its third year it is scraped with a sharp pruning- 
hook, and when it is fit for transplantation (that is, 
from the season of autumn, when the ground has been 
thoroughly soaked with rain, until the spring, before 
the root of the elm is likely to lose its bark while 
being removed from the soil), then is the proper time 
for planting it. Next plant-holes measuring three 10 
feet each way must be made if the soil is loose, 
but, if it is dense, furrows of the same depth and 
width must be prepared to receive the trees. But also 
in a soil which is exposed to dew and mist the elms 
must be planted in such a way that their branches 
may be directed towards the east and west, in 
order that the middle of the trees, to which the 



solis mediae arbor es, quibus vitis appBcata et religata 
innititur, accipiant. 

11 Quod si etiam frumentis consulemus, uberi solo 
inter quadraginta pedes, exili, ubi nihil seritur, inter 
viginti, arbores disponantur. Cum deinde adolescere 
incipient, falce formandae, et tabulata instituenda 
sunt.^ Hoc enim nomine usurpant agricolae ramos 
truncosque prominentes, eosque vel propius ^ ferro 
compescunt, vel longius promittunt, ut vites laxius 
difFundantur : hoc in solo pingui melius, illud in 

12 gracili. Tabulata inter se ne minus ^ ternis pedibus 
absint, atque ita formentur, ne superior ramus in 
eadem linea sit, qua inferior. Nam demissum ex eo 
palmitem germinantem inferior atteret, et fructum 

Sed quamcunque arborem severis, earn biennio 
proximo putare non oportet. Post deinde si ulmus 
exiguum incrementum recipit,* verno tempore, 
antequam librum demittat, decacuminanda est iuxta 
ramulum, qui videbitur esse nitidissimus, ita tamen, 
uti supra eum trunco ^ stirpem dodrantalem ® re- 
linquas, ad quam ductus ' et applicatus ramus 
alligetur, et correptus ^ cacumen arbori praebeat, 

13 Deinde stirpem post annum praecidi et allevari 
oportet. Quod si nullum ramulum arbor idoneum 
habuerit, sat erit novem pedes a terra relinqui, et 
superiorem partem detruncari, ut novae virgae, quas 

^ instituenda sunt Aa : instituenda c : instituendis S. 
" propius c : proprius Aa : prius S. 
^ se si minus S : seminibus A : se minus ac. 
* recipit om. SAac. * truncum SAac. 

« dodrantem *S' : drodant partem A : dodrantanitem a : 
dodrantanidem c. 

' ductus edd. : dubitus 8Aa : dubius c. 
^ correptus SAac : correctus edd. 


BOOK V. VI. 10-13 

vine is applied and fastened, may receive more 

But if we have in view the sowing of cereals also, the 11 
trees should be placed, if the soil is rich, at intervals 
of forty feet from one another, but if it is thin and 
nothing is planted in it, at intervals of twenty feet. 
Then when they begin to grow tall, they must be 
shaped with the pruning-hook and successive 

stages " must be arranged; for the husbandmen 
call prominent branches and trunks by this name and 
either cut them closer with the knife or let them grow 
longer, that the vines may spread more loosely, the 
latter process being better on rich soil, the former on 
thin soil. The " stages " should be not less than 12 
three feet apart from one another and so shaped 
that an upper branch may not be in the same line 
as a lower; for the lower branch will rub against 
the budding shoot let down from the upper branch 
and shake off the fruit. 

But whatever tree you plant, you should not prune 
it during the next two years. Then afterwards, if 
the elm receives only a little growth, in the spring, 
before it sheds its bark, its top must be lopped off 
near the small branch which appears to be the most 
healthy, but in such a way as to leave above it on the 
trunk a stump nine inches long, towards which the 
branch can be trained and then applied and fastened, 
that, when it has been thus caught, it may provide 
a top for the tree. Then after a year the stump must 13 
be cut away and the place smoothed off. If, how- 
ever, the tree has no suitable small branch, it will be 
enough if nine feet from the ground it is left 
standing and the upper part lopped off, in order that 
the new rods which it will have put forth may be safe 



emiserit,^ ab iniuria pecoris tutae sint. Sed si fieri 
poterit, uno ictu arborem praecidi ; si minus, serra 
desecari, et plagam falce allevari oportebit, eamque 
plagam luto paleato contegi, ne sole aut pluviis 

14 infestetur. Post annum aut biennium, cum enati 
ramuli recte convaluerint, supervacuos deputai-i, 
idoneos in ordinem submitti conveniet. Quae ulmus 
a positione bene provenerit,^ eius summae virgae 
falce debent enodari. At si robusti ramuli erunt, ita 
ferro amputentur, ut exiguam stirpem prominentem 
trunco relinquas. Cum deinde arbor convaluerit, 
quicquid falce contingi poterit, exputandum est, 
allevandumque eatenus, ne plaga corpori matris 
applicetur. Ulmum autem novellam formare sic 

15 conveniet. Loco pingui octo pedes a terra sine ramo 
relinquendi, vel in arvo gracili septem pedes : supra 
quod spatium deinde per circuitum in tres partes 
arbor dividenda est, ac tribus lateribus singuli ramuli 

16 submittendi primo tabulate assignentur. Mox de 
ternis pedibus superpositis alii rami submittendi 
sunt, ita ne iisdem lineis, quibus in inferiore positi 
sint. Eademque ^ ratione usque in cacumen ordi- 
nanda erit arbor. Atque in frondatione cavendum, ne 
aut prolixiores pollices fiant, qui ex amputatis virgis 

^ emiserant Sa : emiserint A : emiserat c. 
- provenerit c : provenerint SAa. 

' positis in easdemque S : postas in eadem quae A : positis 
in eademque ac. 


BOOK V. VI. 13-16 

from injury by cattle. If possible, the tree should 
be cut through with a single blow ; if not, it will 
have to be sawn through and the wound smoothed 
off with a pruning-hook and covered with mud 
mixed with straw, so that it may not be damaged by 
the sun or the rain. After a year or two, when the 14 
little branches which have come forth have duly 
gained strength, it will be fitting that those which 
are superfluous should be pruned away and those 
which are suitable should be allowed to grow freely 
and take their place in the row. If an elm has made 
good progress since it was planted, its topmost rods 
should be freed from knots with a pruning-hook ; 
but if the small branches are vigorous, they should 
be cut off with a knife in such a way that you leave 
a little stump projecting from the trunk. Then when 
the tree has gained strength, whatever can be reached 
with a pruning-hook should be cut away and smoothed 
off, without, however, any wound being inflicted on 
the body of the mother-tree. It will be proper to 
shape the young elm in the following manner. Where 15 
the soil is rich, eight feet should be left from the 
ground, without any branches, or seven feet in poor 
soil ; then above this the tree must be divided into 
three parts throughout its circumference, and small 
branches, one on each of the three sides, should be 
allowed to grow and be allotted to the first" stage." 16 
Then, three feet above, other branches must be 
allowed to grow in such a manner that their position 
is not in the same line as in the stage underneath ; and 
the tree will have to be arranged on the same principle 
right up to the top. In stripping the tree care must j 
be taken that the knobs which are left where the rods 
have been cut away do not project too much, and that 



relinquuntur, aut rursus ita alleventur, ut ipse 
truncus laedatur, aut delibretur ; nam parum gaudet 
ulmus 1 in corpus nuda. Vitandumque ne de duabus 
plagis una fiat, cum talem cicatricem non facile cortex 

17 comprehendat. Arboris autem perpetua cultura est, 
non solum diligenter earn ^ disponere, sed etiam trun- 
cum circumfodere, et quicquid frondis enatum fuerit, 
alternis annis aut ferro amputare aut astringere, ne 
nimia umbra viti noceat. Cum deinde arbor vetus- 
tatem ^ fuerit adepta, propter terram * vulnerabitur 
ita, ut excavetur usque in medullam, deturque exitus 
humori, quem ex superiore parte conceperit. Vitem 
quoque, antequam ex toto arbor praevalescat, con- 
serere convenit. 

18 At si teneram ulmum maritaveris, onus iam non 
sufFeret : si vetustae ^ vitem applicueris, coniugem 
necabit. Ita suppares esse aetate et viribus arbores 
vitesque convenit. Sed arboris maritandae causa 
scrobis viviradici fieri debet latus pedum duorum, 
altus levi terra totidem pedum (gravi, dupondio ^ et 
dodrante) longus pedum sex aut minimum quinque. 
Absit autem hie ab arbore ne minus sesquipedali 
spatio. Nam si radicibus ulmi iunxeris, male vitis 
comprehendet, et cum tenuerit, incremento arboris 

19 opprimetur, Hunc scrobem, si res permittit, autum- 
no facito, ut pluviis et gelicidiis maceretur. Circa 
vernum deinde aequinoctium binae vites, quo celerius 

^ post ulmus add. quae SAac. 

* earn S : eadem Aa : om. c. 

* vetustate SAac. 

* terram S : ramum A ac. 

* vetustae Schneider : vetustate S : vetustatem A : vetustam 
a '. om. c. 

* dupondio a : dupundio c : dupundiu 8A. 


BOOK V. VI. 16-19 

they are not, on the other hand, so much smoothed 
away that the trunk itself is damaged or stripped of 
its bark; for an elm takes little pleasure in being 
bared to the quick. Also we must avoid making one 
wound out of two, for the bark does not easily grow 
over a scar of this kind. The elm requires constant 17 
attention, not only in training it carefully but also in 
digging round the trunk and in alternate years 
cutting off with a knife or tying back any foliage 
which has grown from it, so that excessive shade 
may not harm the vine. Then when the tree has 
reached a good age, a wound will be made in it near 
the ground in such a way that a hole is made reaching 
to the pith and a passage thus given to the moisture, 
which it has formed in its upper portion. It is well 
also to plant the vine before the tree has reached its 
full strength. 

But if you wed a tender young elm to a vine, it will 18 
now not support the weight ; if you couple a vine with an 
old elm, it will kill its mate. The trees and the vines, 
therefore, ought to be nearly equal in age and 
strength. In order to wed the tree and the vine, a 
trench ought to be made for the quick-set two feet 
wide and the same number of feet deep, if the soil is 
light (but if it is heavy, two feet and three-quarters 
deep) and six or at least five feet long. The trench, 
however, should not be less than a foot and a half 
from the tree ; for if you put the vine close to the 
roots of the elm, it will not strike root properly and, 
when it has taken hold, it will be smothered by the 
growth of the tree. If circumstances allow, make 19 
the trench in the autumn, that it may be softened 
by the rains and frosts ; then, about the time of the 
spring equinox, in order more quickly to clothe the 



ulmum vestiant, pedem inter se distantes scrobibus 
deponendae : cavendumque ne aut septentrio- 
nalibus ventis aut rorulentae sed siccae serantur. 

20 Hanc observationem non solum in vitium positione, 
sed in ulmorum ceterarumque arborum praecipio : 
et uti cum de seminario eximuntur, rubrica notetur 
una pars, quae nos admoneat, ne aliter arbores con- 
stituamus, quam quemadmodum in seminario stete- 
rint. Plurimum enim refert, ut eam partem caeli 
spectent, cui ab tenero consueverunt.^ Melius 
autem locis apricis, ubi caeli status neque praege- 
lidus neque nimium pluvius est, autumni tempore et 

21 arbores et vites post aequinoctium deponuntur. Sed 
eae ita conserendae sunt, ut summam terram,^ quae 
aratro subacta sit, semipedem alte substernamus, 
radicesque omnes explicemus, et depositas stercorata, 
ut ego existimo, si minus, certe subacta operiamus, 
et circumcalcemus ipsum seminis codicem. Vites in 
ultimo scrobe deponi oportet, materiasque earum per 
scrobem porrigi, deinde ad arborem erigi ; atque ab 

22 iniuria pecoris caveis emuniri. Locis autem prae- 
fervidis semina septentrionali parte arbori appli- 
canda sunt : locis frigidis a meridie, temperate ' 
statu caeli aut ab oriente aut ab occidente, ne toto 
die solem vel umbram patiantur. 

Proxima deinde putatione melius existimat Celsus 
ferro abstineri, ipsosque caules in modum coronae con- 

1 consueverunt c : consuerunt SAa. 

* siimraam terram Aac : somnum a terra S. 

^ temperato a : tempato c : temperatu SA. 


" See note on Vol. I. p. 35. 

BOOK V. VI. 19-22 

elm, two vines a foot apart should be put into the 
trench, and care should be taken that they are not 
planted when the north winds are blowing, nor when 
the vines are wet with dew, but when they are dry. 

This rule I lay down not only when vines are being 20 
planted but also elms and the other trees ; also, that, 
when they are removed from the nursery-bed, one 
side should be marked with ruddle to warn us not to 
plant trees in any position other than that in which 
they stood in the nursery-bed ; for it is very import- 
ant that they should face that quarter of the sky to 
which they have been accustomed from their early 
days. In sunny positions, however, when the climate 
is neither very cold nor too rainy, both trees and vines 
are better planted in the autumn after the equinox. 
They should be planted on the principle of putting 21 
beneath them to a depth of half a foot top-soil which 
has been broken by the plough and uncoiling all the 
roots and covering the plants when they are set with 
dunged soil, which I consider the best course, or, if 
not, at least with broken soil, and treading round the 
actual stem of the plant. The vines should be set at 
the edge of the trench and their firm-wood branches 
stretched along the trench and then erected into the 
tree and protected by railings from damage by cattle. 
In very hot localities the plants should be attached 22 
to the tree on the north side, in cold places to the 
south side, in a temperate climate either on the east 
or on the west side, so that they may not have to 
endure the sun or the shade all day. 

Celsus " is of opinion that at the next pruning- 
season it is better to refrain from using the knife and 
that the shoots themselves should be twisted and 
wrapped round the tree in the shape of a crown, so 



tortos arbori circumdari, ut flexura materias ^ pro- 
fundat, quarum validissimam sequente anno caput 

23 vitis faciamus. Me autem longus docuit usus, multo 
utilius esse primo quoque tempore falcem vitibus 
admovere, nee supervacuis ^ sarmentis pati silves- 
cere. Sed earn quoque, quae primo submittetur, 
materiam ferro coercendam censeo usque in alteram 
vel tertiam gemmam, quo robustiores palmites agat, 
qui cum primum tabulatum apprehenderint, proxima 
putatione disponentur, omnibusque annis alioquin ^ 
in superius tabulatum excitabuntur,^ relicta semper 
una materia, quae applicata trunco cacumen arboris 

24 lamque viti constitutae certa lex ^ ab agricolis 
imponitur : plerique ima tabulata materiis frequen- 
tant, uberiorem fructum et magis facilem cultum 
sequentes. At qui bonitati vini student, in summas 
arbores vitem promovent : ut quaeque materia 
se dabit,^ ita in celsissimum quemque ramum 
extendunt, sic, ut summa vitis summam arborem 
sequatur, id est, ut duo palmites extremi trunco 
arboris applicentur, qui cacumen eius spectent, et 
prout quisque ramus convaluit, vitem accipiat.' 

25 Plenioribus ramis plures palmites alius ab alio separati 
imponantur, gracilioribus pauciores ; vitisque novella 
trlbus toris ad arborem religetur, uno, qui est in crura 

materie Sac : materiae A . 

supervacuus SAa : supervacuis c. 

alioquin SAac : aliquis edd. 

excitabuntur scripai : excitabitur edd. 

lex om. S. 

sedebit S : sed vetata A : sed evecta a : sed evetita c. 

accipit SAac. 


BOOK V. VI. 22-25 

that this bending-back may cause a profusion of 
firm-wood branches, the strongest of which we may 
make the head of the vine in the following year. 
But long experience has taught me that it is much 23 
more expedient to apply the pruning-hook to the 
vines on the first possible opportunity and not allow 
them to become bushy with superfluous shoots. I 
also hold that the firm-wood branch which is to be 
allowed to grow at first, should be cut back with the 
knife as far as the second or third bud, so that it may 
put forth more vigorous shoots, which, when they 
have taken hold of the first " story " of the tree, will 
be trained in different directions at the next pruning, 
and furthermore will every year be raised to the 
story above, one firm- wood branch being always left 
which, applied to the trunk, will face towards the top 
of the tree. 

Once the vine is set in its place a fixed rule is 24 
applied to it by husbandmen. Most of them crowd 
the lower " stories " with firm-wood branches, their 
object being a more abundant yield of fruit and easier 
cultivation. But those whose chief object is high 
quality in the wine, encourage the vine to mount to 
the top of the trees, and, as each firm-wood shoot 
offers itself, they stretch it out to the highest possible 
branch in such a way that the top of the vine keeps 
pace with the top of the tree, that is, that the two 
furthest vine-shoots are applied to the trunk of the 
tree so that they face its top and, as each branch 
gathers strength, it takes up the burden of the vine. 
On the stouter branches more shoots should be placed, 25 
separate from one another, but fewer on the slenderer 
branches, and the young vine should be attached to 
the tree with three bindings, one on the stem of the 



arboris a terra quattuor pedibus distans ; ^ altero, qui 
summa parte vitem capit ; tertio, qui mediam vitem 
complectitur. Torum imum imponi non oportet, 
quoniam vires vitis adimit. Interdum tamen ne- 
cessarius habetur, cum aut arbor sine ramis truncata 
est, aut vitis praevalens in luxuriam evagatur. 

26 Cetera putationis ratio talis est, ut veteres 
palmites, quibus proximi anni fructus pependit, 
omnes recidantur : novi, circumcisis undique capreolis 
et nepotibus, qui ex his nati sunt, amputatis, sub- 
mittantur ^ et si laeta vitis est, ultimi potius 
palmites per cacumina ramorum praecipitentur ; si 
gracilis, trunco proximi, si mediocris, medii ; quo- 
niam ultimus palmes plurimum fructum affert, 
proximus minimum vitemque exhaurit atque atte- 

27 Maxime autem prodest vitibus, omnibus annis 
resolvi. Nam et commodius enodantur, et refri- 
gerantur, cum alio loco alligatae sunt, minusque 
laeduntur, ac melius convalescunt. Atque ipsos 
palmites ita tabulatis superponi convenit, ut a tertia 
gemma vel quarta religati dependeant, eosque non 

28 constringi, ne sarmentum vimine praecidatur. Quod 
si ita longe tabulatum est, ut ^ materia parum com- 
mode in id perduci possit, palmitem ipsum viti 
alligatum supra tertiam gemmam religabimus. Hoc 
ideo fieri praecipimus, quia quae pars palmitis prae- 

^ distant SAac, 

* submittantur Gesner : committantur SAac. 

' in SAac. 

' Cf. Cato, E.R. 32, who warns his readers against this 


BOOK V. VI. 25-28 

tree four feet from the ground, a second holding the 
vine at its top, and a third clasping it in the middle. 
A binding should not be placed at the bottom, since 
it takes away the strength of the vine ; however, it is 
sometimes considered necessary when the tree has 
had its branches lopped off or when the vine, growing 
too strong, runs riot. 

The other points to be observed in pruning are that 26 
the old shoots, upon which the fruit of the previous 
year has hung, should be all cut away, but the new 
ones should be allowed to grow after their tendrils 
have been cut back all round and the side-shoots 
which have grown from them have been lopped off — if 
the vine is in a flourishing state, the furthest shoots 
should be let down " through the top of the branches, if 
the vine is slender, the shoots nearest to the stock, 
and if it is of middling size, those in the middle. For 
the furthest shoot produces the most fruit, the nearest 
the least and exhausts and enfeebles the vine. 

It is of great benefit to vines to unbind them every 27 
year ; for they can then be more conveniently freed 
from knots and they are refreshed by being bound in 
another place and they are less damaged and recover 
strength better. Also it is expedient that the shoots 
themselves should be so placed upon the " stories " 
of the tree that they hang down, being attached at 
the third or fourth bud, and that they should not be 
bound too tightly, lest the vine-twig be cut by the 
osier. But if the " story " is so far away that the 28 
firm-wood branch cannot conveniently be made to 
reach it, we shall bind the shoot itself to the vine, 
attaching it above the third bud. We give instruc- 
tions that this should be done because it is the part 
of the shoot that is bent over which is clothed with 



cipitata est, ea ^ fructu induitur : at quae vinculo 
adnexa ^ sursum tendit, ea materias sequent! anno 

29 praebet. Sed ipsorum palmitum duo genera sunt : 
alterum, quod ex duro provenit, quod quia primo 
anno plerumque fi'ondem sine fructu aiFert, pam- 
pinarium vocant ; alterum, quod ex anniculo palmite 
procreatur : quod quia protinus creat, fructuarium 
appellant. Cuius ut semper habeamus copiam in 
vinea,^ palmitum partes ad tres gemmas religandae 
sunt, ut quicquid intra vinculum est materias 

30 exigat. Cum deinde annis et robore vitis convaluit, 
traduces in proximam quamque arborem mittendae, 
casque post biennium amputare atque alias tene- 
riores transmittere convenit. Nam vetustate vitem 
fatigant. Nonnunquam etiam cum arborem totam 
vitis comprehendere nequit, ex usu fuit partem 
aliquam eius deflexam terrae immergere, et rursus 
ad eandem arborem duas vel tres propagines excitare, 
quo pluribus vitibus circumventa celerius vestiatur. 

31 Viti novellae pampinarium immitti non oportet, 
nisi necessario loco natus est, ut viduum ramum 
maritet. Veteribus vitibus loco ^ nati palmites pam- 
pinarii utiles sunt, et plerique ad tertiam gemmam 
resecti optime submittuntur. Nam insequenti anno 

32 materias fundunt. Quisquis autem pampinus loco 
natus in exputando vel alligando ^ fractus est, modo 

^ ex SAac. * abnexa SAac. 

* inae <S'^ : in ea ac. 

* loco a : loca SAc. 

' alligando ac : alligandi SA. 


BOOK V. VI. 28-32 

fruit, and it is the part which, being tied with a band, 
grows upwards that provides the firm-wood branches 
for the following year. There are two kinds of the fruit- 29 
bearing shoots themselves, one that comes out of the 
hard-Avood of the vine, which, because in the first 
year it usually puts forth leaves but no fruit, is called 
a tendril-bearing shoot, and another which is pro- 
duced from a one-year-old shoot and, because it bears 
fruit immediately, is called a fructuary shoot. In 
order that we may have plenty of shoots of this kind 
in our vineyard, the portions of the shoots up to three 
buds must be tied back, so that whatever is below the 
band may produce firm-wood. Then, afterwards, 30 
when the vine has increased in years and strength, 
the cross-branches must be conveyed to all the 
nearest trees and after two years must be cut away 
and others which are younger must be trained across ; 
for when they grow old they wear out the vine. 
Sometimes too, when the vine cannot occupy the 
whole tree, it has been found useful to bend part of 
it down and sink it into the earth and raise two or 
three layers again into the same tree, so that it may 
be surrounded by several vines and so be more quickly 

A tendril-bearing shoot ought not to be allowed to 31 
grow on a young vine, unless it has grown in a place 
where it is required, so that it may be wedded to a 
branch which lacks a vine-shoot. Tendril-bearing 
shoots which grow in the right place on old vines are 
useful and are generally cut back to the third bud and 
allowed to grow with very good results ; for in the 
following year they produce firm-wood in abundance. 
But if any tendril growing in the right place is broken 32 
in the process of pruning or tying, provided that it 



ut aliquam gemmam habuerit, ex toto tolli non 
oportet, quoniam proximo anno vel validiorem 

33 materiam ex una creabit.^ Praecipites palmites di- 
cuntur, qui de hornotinis ^ virgis enati in duro alli- 
gantur. Hi plurimum fructus afFerunt, sed plurimum 
matri nocent. Itaque nisi extremis ramis, aut si vitis 
arboris cacumen superaverit, praecipitari palmitem 

34 non oportet. Quod si tamen id genus colis propter 
fructum submittere quis velit, palmitem intorqueat. 
Deinde ita alliget et praecipitet. Nam et post eum 
locum quern intorseris, laetam materiam citabit, et 
praecipitata minus virium * in se trahet, quamvis 
fructu exuberet. Praecipitem vero plus anno pati non 

35 Alterum * genus palmitis, quod de novello nascitur 
et in tenero alligatum dependet, materiam vocamus ; 
ea et fructum et nova flagella bene procreat. Et iam 
si ex uno capite duae virgae submittantur, tamen 
utraque ^ materia dicitur ; ^ nam pampinarius quam 
vim habeat, supra docui. Focaneus est, qui inter 
duo bracchia velut in furca de medio nascitur. Eum 
colem deterrimum esse comperi, quod neque fructum 
ferat, et utraque bracchia, inter quae natus est, 
attenuet. Itaque tollendus est. 

36 Plerique vitem validam et luxuriosam falso credi- 
derunt feraciorem fieri, si multis palmitibus submissis 

^ creabit a : creavit SAc. 
^ annotinis codd. 

* vinum SAac. 

* est Sc : ei Aa: om. Poniedera. 
^ utramque SAac. 

* deciditur SA : decitur a : decidunt c. 

» See Book IV. 24. 10. 


BOOK V. VI. 32-36 

has some bud left, it should not be entirely removed, 
since in the following year it will produce an even 
stronger firm-wood branch from a single bud. Shoots 33 
are called " precipitated " which, sprung from rods 
one year old, are tied to the hard wood. These bear 
fruit very freely but do much damage to the mother- 
vine ; and so a shoot ought not to be " precipitated " 
except from the ends of the branches or if the vine has 
surmounted the top of the tree. If, however, any- 34 
one wishes to let this kind of stem grow freely for the 
sake of the fruit, let him twist the shoot, and then 
tie it in that position and bend it over ; for it will put 
forth flourishing firm-wood behind the point at which 
you have twisted it, and also, when it is bent over, it 
will attract less strength to itself, even though it bears 
an abundance of fruit. A shoot which has been bent 
over ought not to be allowed to continue so for more 
than one year. 

Another kind of shoot which grows from a young 35 
vine and hangs down tied to the tender part of the 
vine, we call firm-wood ; it produces a good crop both 
of fruit and of new sprouts, and if two rods are allowed 
to grow from one head, both, nevertheless, are called 
firm-wood ; for I have pointed out above what 
strength the leaf-bearing shoot possesses. The 
" throat-shoot " " is that which grows out of the 
middle between two branches, as it were in a fork. 
This I have found to be the worst kind of shoot, 
because it does not bear fruit and it weakens both of 
the branches between which it has grown. It must, 
therefore, be removed. 

Most people have believed that a strong, luxuriant 36 
vine becomes more fertile, if it is loaded with many 
shoots which are allowed to grow, but they are 




oneretur. Nam ex pluribus virgis plures pampinos 
creat, et cum se multa fronde cooperit, peius defloret, 
nebulasque et rores ^ diutius continet, omnemque 
uvam perdit. Validam ergo vitem in ramos diducere 
censeo, et traducibus dispergere atque disrarare,^ 
certosque vinearios coles praecipitare, et si minus ^ 
luxuriabitur, solutas materias relinquere ; ea ratio 
vitem feraciorem faciet.^ 
37 Sed ut densum arbustum commendabile ^ fructu et 
decore est, sic ubi vetustate rarescit, pariter inutile 
et invenustum est. Quod ne fiat, diligentis patris- 
familias est, primam quamque arborem senio de- 
fectam tollex*e, et in eius locum novellam restituere,* 
nee eam viviradice frequentare,'' ea etsi ^ sit facultas, 
sed,^ quod est longe melius, ex proximo propagare. 
Cuius utriusque ratio consimilis est ei ^^ quam tradi- 
dimus. Atque haec de Italico arbusto satis prae- 

VII. Est et alterum genus arbusti Gallici, quod 
vocatur rumpotinum. Id desiderat arborem hu- 
milem nee frondosam. Cui rei maxime videtur esse 

^ et rores ac : errores SA. 

2 dirrare SA : diradare a : durare c. 

' nimis SAac. 

* faceret SAac. 

* commendabili SAac. 

* post restituere add. vitem SAac : om. Pontedera. 

' nee tam viviradice frequentare Gesner : que aut enectam 
viviradici frequenter S : quae aut nectam viviradici frequenter 
A : queat ut nectam viviradici frequenter ac. 

* ut si SAac. 

* sed om. SAac. 
1" ei om. SAac. 

" The text here is quite doubtful. 

BOOK V. VI. 36-vii. I 

wrong; for it produces more leaf-bearing shoots 
from its more numerous rods and, when it has 
covered itself with abundant foliage, it flowers less 
well and holds the fog and dew too long and loses all 
its clusters of grapes. I am, therefore, in favour of 
distributing a strong vine over the boughs of the 
supporting tree and spreading it in the form of 
cross-branches and thinning it out and bending 
over a certain number of grape-bearing shoots, and, 
if it is not luxuriant enough, leaving the firm- 
wood loose. This method will make the vine more 

Just as a dense plantation is commendable from 37 
the point of view of the fruit and for its fine appear- 
ance, so when it becomes thin through lapse of time 
it is equally unprofitable and ugly to look upon. To 
prevent this, it is the duty of a careful owner of 
property to remove every tree as soon as it becomes 
enfeebled by age and to plant a young tree in its place 
and not to crowd it round with quick-sets "■ — ^although 
there may be facilities for doing so — but, what is far 
better, to set layers from near at hand. In both cases 
the method is very similar to that which we have 
already set forth. We have now given enough in- 
struction about Italian plantations. ^itntations 

VII.ThereisanotherkindofplantationfoundinGaul, of trees for 
whichiscalledthatofdwarftrees.* It requires a low and vmes!'^"* 
not very leafy tree, and the guelder-rose tree " seems 

* This is derived from rumpvs (Varro, R.R. I. 8. 4) meaning 
a " vine-branch " or " runner " — apparently the same as 
tradux — and teneo. 

" Viburnum opulus is called the cranberry-tree or high 
cranberry, also white dogwood, marsh- or water-elder, or 



idonea opulus ^ : ea est arbor corno ^ similis. Quin 
etiam cornus et carpinus et ornus non nunquam et 
salix a plerisque in hoc ipsum disponitur. Sed salix 
nisi aquosis locis, ubi aliae arbores difficiliter 
comprehendunt, ponenda non est, quia vini saporem 
infestat. Potest etiam ulmus sic disponi, ut adhuc ^ 
tenera decacuminetur, ne altitudinem qutndecim 
pedum excedat. Nam fere ita constitutum rumpo- 
tinetum animadverti, ut ad octo pedes locis siccis et 
clivosis, ad duodecim locis planis et uliginosis tabu- 
lata disponantur. Plerumque autem ea arbor in tres 
ramos dividitur, quibus singulis ab utraque parte com- 
plura bracchia submittuntur, tum omnes pene virgae, 
ne umbrent, eo tempore quo vitis putatur, abraduntur. 
Arboribus rumpotinis, si * frumentum non inseritur, 
in utramque partem viginti pedum spatia inter- 
veniunt ; at si segetibus indulgetur, in altera parte 
quadraginta pedes, in altera viginti relinquuntur. 
Cetera simili ratione atque in arbusto Italico admi- 
nistrantur, ut vites longis scrobibus deponantur, ut 
eadem diligentia curentur, atque in ramos didu- 
cantur,^ ut novi ^ traduces omnibus annis inter se ex 
arboribus proximis committantur ^ et veteres deci- 
dantur. Si tradux traducem ® non contingit, media 
virga inter eas deligetur. Cum ' deinde fructus 
pondere urgebit, subiectis adminiculis sustineatur. 
Hoc autem genus arbusti ceteraeque omnes arbores 

^ opulus edd : populus SAac. 

" aceme S : cemae A : ceme ac. 

^ hue SAac. * Si om. SAac. 

* deducatur SAac. * non novi Aac : non vita S. 
' committantur SAa : commutantur c. 

* ducem Aac : dulcem S. 

' For dwarf planting, not for wet. 

BOOK V. VII. 1-4 

to be the most suitable for this purpose, a tree which 
closely resembles the cornel-tree. Indeed the 
cornel-tree, the horn-beam and sometimes the 
mountain-ash and the willow are planted by most 
people to this very end ; but willows should not be 
planted except in watery places, where other trees 
take root with difficulty, because it spoils the 
flavour of the wine. The elm also can be adapted 
to this purpose " by having its top cut off while it is 
still young, so that it does not exceed the height of 
fifteen feet ; for I have noticed that the plantation 
of dwarf trees is usually so ordered that the " stories " 
are arranged at the height of eight feet in dry, sloping 
places, and twelve feet on flat, marshy ground. But 
usually this tree is divided up into three branches, 
upon each of which several arms are allowed to 
grow on both sides ; then almost all the rods are 
pared off" at the time when the vines are pruned, so 
that they may not cause a shade. 

If no cereal is sown amongst the dwarf trees, spaces 
of twenty feet are left on either side ; but if one 
indulges in crops, forty feet are left on one side and 
twenty on the other. In all other respects operations 
are carried out on the same principle as in an Italian 
plantation, namely, that the vines are planted in 
long holes, that they may be looked after with 
the same care, and trained along the boughs of the 
trees, and the young cross-branches joined together 
every year from the nearest trees and the old ones cut 
off". If one cross-branch does not reach to another, it 
should be connected by a rod running between 
them. When later the fruit bows the vine down with 
its weight, it should be supported by props put 
underneath it. This kind of plantation, just like all 



quanto altius arantur et circiimfodiuntur, maiore 
fructu exuberant ; quod an expediat patrifamilias 
facere, reditus docet. 

VIII, Omnis tamen arboris cultus simplicior quam 
vinearum est, longeque ex omnibus stirpibus mi- 
norem impensam desiderat olea, quae prima omnium 
arborum est. Nam quamvis non continuis annis, sed 
fere altero quoque ^ fructum afFerat, eximia tamen 
eius ratio est, quod levi cultu sustinetur, et cum se 
non induit, vix ullam impensam poscit. Sed et si 
quam recipit, subinde fructus multiplicat : neglecta 
compluribus annis non ut vinea deficit, eoque ipso 
tempore aliquid etiam interim patrifamilias praestat, 
et cum adhibita cultura est, uno anno emendatur. 
Quare etiam nos in hoc genere arboris diligenter 
praecipere censuimus. 

Olearum, sicut vitium, plura genera esse arbitror, 
sed in meam notitiam decem omnino pervenerunt : 
Posia,2 Licinia,^ Sergia,* Nevia,^ Culminia,^ Orchis,' 

1 quodque SAac. * posita SAac. 

^ licia SAac. * Sergia SAac. 

* nevira 8 : nevi Aac. 

* culminia <S^ : culmina ac. 
' orces SAa : orches c. 

" The MSS. readings of the names which follow have to be 
emended from the lists of olive-trees given by other authors, 
particularly Palladius (III. 18), who is obviously copying 
Columella. Whereas Columella says that he is going to give 
the names of ten kinds, nine only are named. To complete the 
number Schneider inserts Algiana as the second name, but he 
gives no indication of the source from which he derived this 
name. The meaningless culi, which in the MSS. precedes the 
last name, is possibly a corruption of the missing tenth 


BOOK V. VII. 4-viii. 3 

kinds of other trees, produces a greater abundance 
of fruit the deeper the ground is ploughed and dug 
round it ; whether it pays the owner of the property 
to make it is shown by the profit which it returns. 

VIII. The cultivation of any kind of tree is simpler The various 
than that of the vine, and the olive-tree, the queen oiirc-trees. 
of all trees, requires the least expenditure of all. 
For, although it does not bear fruit year after year 2 
but generally in alternate years, it is held in very 
high esteem because it is maintained by very light 
cultivation and, when it is not covered with fruit, it 
calls for scarcely any expenditure ; also, if anything 
is expended upon it, it promptly multiplies its crop 
of fruit. If it is neglected for several years, it does 
not deteriorate like the vine, but even during this 
period it nevertheless yields something to the owner 
of the property and, when cultivation is again applied 
to it, it recovers in a single year. We have, there- 3 
fore, besides others thought it well to give careful 
instructions about this kind of tree. 

I fancy that there are as many kinds of olive-trees 
as of vines, but ten in all have come under my notice : " 
the Posia,*" the Licinian, the Sergian, the Nevian," 
the Culminian,'* the Orchis,^ the Royal, the Shuttle,/ 

* Posia, or as it is sometimes spelt Pavsia is called by Vergil 
{Georg. II. 86) anmra pavsia bacca : the derivation of the word 
is unknown. 

" The Licinian, Sergian and Nevian olive-trees were called 
after the names of those who introduced them into Italy. 

■* The origin of this name is unknown : it is mentioned by 
Varro, BR.. I. 21. 1 and Pliny, N.H. XV. § 13. 

« The Greek opx'S = Latin testictilus, and indicates the shape 
of the fruit. 

^ Also called maiorina from its great size (Pliny, N.H. XV. § 
15). Gesner {Index,s.v.RADIOLV S and Vol. II. p. 1223) identi- 
fies Cercitisy/iih. Radius (below). Both words mean "shuttle". 



Regia,^ Cercitis, Murtea.^ Ex quibus bacca iucun- 
dissima est Posiae,^ speciosissima Regiae,* sed utra- 
que potius escae, quam oleo est idonea. Posiae ^ 
tamen oleum saporis egregii, dum viride est, intra 
annum corrumpitur.^ Orchis ' quoque et Radius 
melius ad escam quam in liquorem stringitur. 
Oleum optimum Licinia dat, plurimum Sergia : 
omnisque olea maior fere ad escam, minor oleo est 
aptior. Nulla ex his generibus, aut praefervidum, 
aut gelidum statum caeli patitur. Itaque aestuosis 
locis septentrionali coUe, frigidis meridiano gaudet. 
Sed neque depressa loca neque ardua, magisque 
modicos clivos amat, quales in Italia Sabino- 
rum vel tota provincia Baetica videmus. Hanc 
arborem plerique existimant ultra milliarium ^ cente- 
simum ^ a mari aut non vivere aut non esse feracem. 
Sed in quibusdam locis recte valet. Optime vapores 
sustinet Posia,!** frigus Sergia. 

Aptissimum genus terrae est oleis, cui glarea 
subest, si superposita creta sabulo admixta est. Non 
minus probabile est solum, ubi pinguis sabulo est. 
Sed et densior terra, si uvida et laeta est, commode 
recipit hanc arborem. Creta ex toto repudianda est, 
magis etiam scaturiginosa, et in qua semper uligo 
consistit. Inimicus est etiam ager sabulo macer, et 

^ regiona SAac. 

* Cercitis mystea edd. : scrisis culi murtea SA : scrisis 
culimurtea a : scrisis culmurtea c. 

' posiae iS : positae Aac. 

* regies SAc : reges a. 

* posita SAac. 

" intra annum corrumpitur Codex Goesianus : inani rumpitur 
S : imam rumpitur A : ima rumpitur a : una in rumpitur c. 
' orceis SA : orces ac. 

* milliarium om. SAac. 


BOOK V. viii. 3-6 

the Myrtle. Of these the berry of the Posia is the 
most agreeable, that of the Royal the showiest, and 
both are more suitable for eating than for oil. The 
oil from the Posia has an excellent flavour as long as 
it is green, but it goes bad within a year. The Orchis 
also and the Shuttle-olive are better gathered for 
eating than for their oil. The Licinian pro'duces the 
best oil, the Sergian the most abundant, and, 
generally speaking, all the bigger olives are more 
suitable for eating, the smaller for oil. No olive- 
trees of these kinds can stand a very warm or a very 
cold climate ; and so in very hot regions the olive- 
tree rejoices in the north side of a hill, in cool districts 
in the south side ; but it does not like either low- 
lying or lofty situations but prefers moderate slopes 
such as we see in the Sabine territory in Italy and all 
over the province of Baetica." Most people think 
that this tree either cannot live or is not productive 
more than a hundred miles from the sea, but in some 
places it thrives well. The Posia stands the heat 
best, the Sergian the cold. 

The most suitable kind of ground for olive-trees is 
that which has gravel underneath, if chalk mixed 
with coarse sand forms the top-soil. Not less highly 
esteemed is ground where there is rich sand, but 
denser soil also is well adapted to receive this tree, if it 
is moist and fertile. Chalk must be wholly rejected, 
and even more land which abounds in springs and 
where ooze is always standing. Land which is lean 
because of sand is unfriendly to the olive-tree ; so is 
" Columella's native province in S.W. Spain. 

• centesimum S : censimum A : sexagesimum a: lx c. 
*' postea SA : posita ac. 



nuda glarea. Nam etsi non emoritur in eiusmodi 
solo, nunquam tamen convalescit. Potest tamen in 
agro frumentario seri, vel ubi arbutus, aut ilex 
steterant. Nam quercus etiam excisa radices noxias 
oliveto relinquit, quarum virus enecat oleam. Haec 
in universum de toto genere huius arboris habui 
dicere. Nunc per partes culturam eius exsequar. 

IX. Seminarium ^ oliveto praeparetur caelo libero, 
terreno ^ modice valido et succoso, neque denso neque 
soluto solo,potius tamen resoluto ; id genus fere terrae 
nigrae est. Quam cum in tres pedes pastinaveris, et 
alta fossa circumdederis, ne aditus ^ pecoi*i detur,* 
fermentari sinito : tum ramos ^ novellos proceros et 
nitidos, quos comprehensos manus possit circum- 
venire, hoc est manubrii crassitudine, feracissimis ^ 
arboribus adimito, et quam recentissimas ^ taleas 
recidito, ita ne corticem aut ullam aliam partem, 
quam qua ^ serra praeciderit, laedas. Hoc autem 
facile contingit, si prius varam feceris, et cam partem, 
supra quam ramum secaturus es, faeno aut stramentis 
texeris, ut molliter sine noxa corticis taleae super- 
positae secentur. Taleae ^ deinde sesquipedales 
serra ^^ praecidantur, atque earum plagae utraque 
parte falce leventur, et rubrica ^^ notentur, ut sic 
quemadmodum in arbore steterat ramus, ita pars 
recte et cacumine caelum spectans deponatur. Nam 

^ seminario SAac. 

* raodo SAac. 

' aditus a : traditus SAc. 

* ater SAac : post ater add. inferetur SAa : infrecturi c. 

* ramos ac : ramus SA. 

* feracissimos SAac. 

^ recentissimos c : recentissimo SAa. 
' -que SAac. • tali SAac. 

^^ terra SAac. ^^ rubrica c : lubrica SAa. 


BOOK V. VIII. 6-ix. 3 

bare gravel : for, although it does not die in this kind 7 
of soil, yet it never acquires strength. It can, how- 
ever, be planted on corn-land or where the straw- 
berry-tree or holm-oak have stood ; for the ordinary 
oak, even if it has been cut down, leaves behind roots 
harmful to the olive-grove, the poison from which 
kills the olive. So much for general remarks on this 
type of tree as a whole ; I will now describe its cultiva- 
tion in detail. 

IX. A nursery for your olive-grove should be pre- Nurseries 

J *» " -*■ _ for olivG" 

pared under the open sky on land which is moderately trees. 
strong and juicy with soil which is neither dense nor 
loose but rather broken up. This kind of soil generally 
consists of black earth. When you have trenched it to 
the depth of three feet and surrounded it with a deep 
ditch, so that the cattle may have no access to it, 
allow the ground to loosen up. Then take from 
the most fruitful trees tall and flourishing young 
branches, such as the hand can grasp when it takes 2 
hold of them — that is to say of the thickness of a 
handle — and cut off from these the freshest slips in 
such a way as not to injure the bark or any other part 
except where the saw has made its cut. This is quite 
easy if you have first made a forked support and 
protect with hay or straw the part above which you 
are going to cut the branch, so that the slips which 
are placed in the fork may be severed gently without 
any damage to their bark. The slips then should be 3 
cut to the length of a foot and a half with the saw, 
and their wounds at each end smoothed with a 
pruning-knife and marked with ruddle, in order that 
the portion of the branch may be properly placed 
in the position which the branch had occupied on the 
tree, and with its top towards the sky ; for, if it is 



si inversa mergatur, difficulter comprehendet, et 
cum validius ^ convaluerit, sterilis in perpetuum erit.^ 
Sed oportebit talearum ^ capita et imas partes mixto 
fimo cum cinere oblinire,* et ita totas eas immergere,^ 
ut putris terra digitis quattuor alte superveniat. Sed 
binis indicibus ex utraque parte muniantur : hi sunt 
de qualibet arbore ^ brevi ' spatio iuxta eas positi, 
et inter se vinculo connexi, ne facile singuli deici- 
antur. Hoc facere utile est propter fossorum 
ignorantiam, ut cumi bidentibus aut sarculis semina- 
rium colere institueris, depositae ^ taleae ^ non 

Quidam melius existimant oculis excolere, et 
chorda ^^ simili ratione disponere : sed utrumque 
debet post vernum aequinoctium seri, et quam fre- 
quentissime seminarium primo anno sarriri ; postero 
et sequentibus, cum iam radiculae seminum con- 
valuerint, rastris excoli. Sed biennio a putatione 
abstineri, tertio anno singulis ^^ seminibus binos 
ramulos relinqui, et frequenter sarriri seminarium 
convenit. Quarto anno ex duobus ^^ ramis infirmior 
amputandus est. Sic excultae quinquennio arbus- 
culae habiles ^^ translationi sunt. Plantae autem 

^ validis SAac. 

* ease SAac. 

* palorum SAac. 

* oblinire ac : oblinere SA. 

* immergere scripsi : inmediri SAc : inmederi a : immergerei 

* arbore a : arbores SAc. 
' brevi ac : breve 8 A. 

* deposita SAac. 

* et alere Sac : et alaerit A . 

'" et chorda scripsi : cordo SAac. 

" singuli SAac. 

12 duabus SAa : duobus c. i' stabiles SAac. 


BOOK V. IX. 3-6 

sunk into the ground in an inverted position, it will 
take root with difficulty and, when it has gained 
more strength, it will be barren for ever. You will 
have to smear the tops and lower ends of the slips 
with a mixture of dung and ashes and plunge them 
completely underground in such a way that there 
may be four inches of loose earth above them. But the 
slips should be provided mth two marking-pegs, one 
on each side ; these are of any kind of wood and are 
placed a little distance away from the slips and are 
tied together with a band, so that they may not 
easily be knocked over separately. It is expedient 
to do this because of the unobservance of the diggers, 
so that, when you start tilling your nursery with 
mattocks or hoes, the slips which you have planted 
may not be injured. 

Some people think it better to cultivate olive-trees 
by means of buds and to arrange them by means of 
a cord on a similar principle ; * but in either case the 
planting ought to take place after the spring 
equinox, and during the first year the nursery ought 
to be hoed over as often as possible. In the follow- 
ing and subsequent years, when the rootlets of the 
plants have gained strength, they should be cul- 
tivated with rakes ; but for the first two years it is 
best to abstain from pruning, and in the third year 
two little branches should be left on each plant, and 
the nursery should be frequently hoed. In the 
fourth year the weaker of the two branches should 
be cut away. Thus cultivated the small trees are 
fit for transplantation in five years. In dry soil and 

" The text here is apparently corrupt beyond emendation : 
the above is a translation of the reading of the MSS. with one 
slight change. 



in oliveto disponuntur optime siccis minimeque 
uliginosis agris per autumnum, laetis et humidis 
verno tempore, paulo antequam germinent. Atque 
ipsis scrobes quarternum pedum praeparantur anno 
ante, vel si tempus non largitur, priusquam de- 
ponantur arbores,^ stramentis ^ atque virgis iniectis ' 
incendantur scrobes, ut eos ignis putres faeiat, quos 
sol et pruina * facere debuerat. Spatium inter- 
medium esse debet ^ pingui et frumentario solo 
sexagenum pedum in alteram partem, atque in 
alteram quadragenum : macro nee idoneo segetibus, 
quinum ^ et vicenum '' pedum. Sed in Favonium 
dirigi ordines convenit, ut aestivo perflatu refrige- 

Ipsae autem arbusculae hoc modo possunt trans- 
ferri : antequam explantes arbusculam solo,^ rubrica 
notato partem eius, quae meridiem spectat, ut eodem 
modo, quo in seminario erat,^ deponatur. Deinde ^^ 
arbusculae spatium pedale in circuitu relinquatur, 
atque ita cum suo caespite planta eruatur. Qui 
caespes in eximendo ne resolvatur ,i ^ modicos surculos ^^ 
virgarum inter se connexos facere oportet, eosque 
pilae,^^ quae eximitur,^* applicare, et viminibus ita 

^ deponantur arbores a : deponatur arbore SAc. 

* stramentio Poniedera : sistam rectis c : sustain rectiua 
A : si tam rectis a. 

* atque virgis insectis S : om Aac. 

* pruina a : ruina SAc. 

* spatium intermedium esse debet pingui Poniedera : 
spatia ut vitis me deberit pingui S : spatium ut as me deberit 
pingui A : spatium minime debebit pingiu a : spatia vitis erit 
pungui c. 

* quidam 5.4 a : -em c. 

' vicenum Ursinus : vicesimum SA : vigesimura ac. 

* plantam pars arbuscula sole SAac, 

* et id SAac. 


BOOK V. IX. 6-8 

where there is very little moisture the plants are best 
put out in the olive-grove during the autumn, but, 
where the soil is I'ich and damp, in the spring just 
before they come into bud. Four-foot plant-holes 
are prepared for them a year earlier, or, if there is 
not an abundance of time before the trees are 
planted, let straw and twigs be thrown in and the 
plant-holes burnt, so that the fire may make them 
friable, as the sun and frost ought to have done. On 
ground which is rich and fit for growing corn the space 
between the rows ought to be sixty feet in one 
direction and forty in the other : if the soil is poor 
and not suitable for crops, twenty-five feet. But it 
is proper that the rows should be aligned towards the 
west, that they may be cooled by the summer-breeze 
blowing through them. 

The small trees themselves may be transplanted 
in the following manner. Before you pull up a little 
tree from the soil," mark on it with ruddle the side 
of it which faces south, so that it may be planted in 
the same manner as in the nursery. Next let a 
space of one foot be left round the little tree in a circle 
and then let the plant be pulled up with its own turf, 
and that this turf may not be broken up in the process 
of removal, you must weave together moderate-sized 
twigs taken from rods and apply them to the lump of 
earth which is being removed and so bind it with 

" The text here is quite uncertain, but the sense is obvious. 

^° post deinde add. ut SAa : aut c. 

^1 solvatur SAac. 

1^ modico surculos SAac. 

1^ pilae quae scripsi : pila qua S : pila quae Aac. 

^* eximitur c : eximuntur SAa. 



innectere, ut constricta terra ^ velut inclusa teneatur. 

9 Turn subruta parte ima leviter pilam ^ commovere, et 
suppositis virgis alligare, atque plantam transferre. 
Quae antequam deponatur,^ oportebit solum scrobis 
confodere * bidentibus : deinde terram aratro subac- 
tam, si tamen pinguior erit summa humus, immittere,^ 
et ita seminibus substernere, et si ^ consistet ' in 
scrobibus aqua, ea omnis haurienda est, antequam ^ 
demittantur arbores. Deinde ingerendi minuti la- 
pides vel glarea mixta pingui solo, depositisque 
seminibus latera scrobis circumcidenda, et aliquid 

10 stercoris interponendum. Quod si cum sua terra 
plantam ^ transferre ^^ non convenit, tum optimum est 
omni fronde privare truncum, atque levatis plagis 
caenoque ^^ et cinere oblitis,^^ in ^^ scrobem vel sulcum 
deponere. Truncus autem aptior translationi est,^* 
qui bracchii crassitudinem habet. Poterit etiam longe 
maioris incrementi et robustioris transferri. Quern 
ita convenit poni, ut, si non periculum a pecore habeat, 
exiguus admodum supra scrobem emineat : laetius 
enim frondet. Si tamen incurs-us pecoris aliter vitari 
non poterit, celsior^^ truncus constituetur, ut sit 

^ constrictae terrae SAac * pilam SAac. 

^ deponantur SAac. 

* confodere scripsi : copia fodere SAac. 
^ mittere SAac. 

* si a : sic SAc. 
' constet SAac. 

* nusquam SAa : nunquam c. 

* plantam SAac. 

I*' transferre om. SAac. 
" caenoqne S : cinoque A : acinoque ac. 
^^ obrutis SAac. ^' in om. SAac. 

1* truncus autem aptior translationi est Oeaner : truncos 
gratus autem maturis SAac. 
** depressior codex Ooeaianua. 


BOOK V. IX. 8-10 

osiers that the soil, being pressed together, may be 
held as it were enclosed. Then having dug up the 9 
lowest part, you must gently move the lump of earth 
and bind it to the rods put under it and transfer the 
plant. Before it is placed in the ground, you will 
have to dig up the soil in the plant-hole with hoes ; 
then you should put in soil which has been broken up 
with the plough, provided that the top-soil shall be 
rather rich, and strew it with seeds underneath ; <* 
and, if there is any water standing in the plant-holes, 
it should all be drained away before the trees are put 
in. Next minute stones or gravel mixed with rich 
soil must be thrown in and, after seeds have been put 
in, the sides of the plant-hole must be pared away 
all round and some manure put in among them. 
If, however, it is not convenient to remove the plant 10 
with its own earth, it is best to strip the stem of all 
its leaves and, after smoothing its wounds and daubing 
them with mud and ashes, place it in the plant-hole 
or furrow. A stem is quite ready for moving '' which 
is as thick as a man's arm ; one of much greater 
and stronger growth can also be transplanted, but it 
must be so placed if it is not in any danger from 
cattle, that only a little of it projects above the 
plant-hole ; it then produces more luxuriant foliage. 
If, however, the attacks of cattle cannot be avoided 
in any other way, the stem will be planted so as to 
project further from the ground, so that it may 

" Schneider, by a quotation from Palladius III. 18, who is 
there copying Columella, shows that it was customary to strew 
barley-seeds in the bottom of the hole in which a tree was about 
to be planted in order to cause fermentation; compare also 
(Aristotle) Problems, XX. 8, where it is said that barley-husks 
were sprinkled in the holes in which celery was to be planted. 

'' The reading here is uncertain. 



11 innoxius ab iniuria pecorum. Atque etiam rigandae 
sunt plantae, cum siccitates incesserunt, nee nisi post 
biennium ferro tangendae.^ Ae primo surculari 
debent, ita ut simplex stilus altitudinem maximi 
bovis 2 excedat ; deinde arando ne ^ coxam bos, 
aliamve partem corporis ofFendat, optimum est etiam 
constitutas plantas circummunire ^ caveis. 

Deinde constitutum iam et maturum olivetum in 
duas partes dividere, quae alternis annis fructu in- 
duantur. Neque enim olea continuo biennio uberat.^ 

12 Cum subiectus ager consitus non est, arbor ^ co- 
liculum agit : cum seminibus repletur, fructum affert ; 
ita sic divisum olivetum omnibus annis aequalem 
reditum adfert.' Sed id minime bis anno arari 
debet : et bidentibus alte circumfodiri. Nam post 
solstitium cum terra aestibus hiat, curandum est, ne 

13 per rimas sol ad radices arborum ^ penetret. Post 
aequinoctium autumnale ita sunt arbores ablaque- 
andae, ut a superiore parte, si olea in clivo ^ sit, 
incilia ^° excitentur, quae ad codicem deducant 
aquam. Omnis deinde soboles, quae ex imo stirpe 
nata est, quotannis extirpanda est, ac tertio quoque 
fimo pabulandae sunt oleae. Atque eadem ratione 
stercorabitur olivetum, quam in secundo libro pro- 

^ tangeri de SA : tangi debeat a : tangi de hac c. 

* bovis Oesner : scrobis SAac. 
^ ne post arando om. SAac. 

* circumvenire SAac. 

* eberat S : deberat Aa : debeat c. 

* arbori SAac. 

' ita sic — adfert om. Sa. 

* arborem SA: arborum ac. 

* clivoso SAa. 

1" incilia S : inciUcia Aac. 


BOOK V. IX. 10-13 

be free from such injury by cattle. The plants must 11 
also be watered, when droughts occur, and they must 
not be touched with the knife unless two years have 
passed; and, firstly, they ought to be trimmed so 
that there is only a single stem which exceeds the 
height of the tallest ox ; and, secondly, lest in 
ploughing an ox should hit it with his haunch or any 
other part of his body, it is best to protect the plants 
with fences, even plants that are established. 

When the olive grove is established and has 
reached maturity, you must divide it into two parts, 
so that they may be clothed with fruit in alternate 
years ; for the olive-tree does not produce an 
abundance two years in succession. When the 12 
ground underneath has not been sown with a crop, the 
tree is putting forth its shoots ; when the ground is full 
of sown crop, the tree is bearing fruit ; the olive-grove, 
therefore, being thus divided, gives an equal return 
every year. But it ought to be ploughed at least twice 
a year and dug deep all round the trees with hoes ; for 
after the solstice, when the ground gapes open from 
the heat, care must be taken that the sun does not 
penetrate to the roots of the trees through the 
cracks. After the autumn equinox the trees ought 13 
to be trenched all round, so that, if the olive-grove is 
on a slope, ditches may be formed from the higher 
ground to convey water to the trunks of the trees. 
Next every shoot which springs from the lowest part 
of the stem must be removed each year, and every 
third year the olive-trees must be fed with dung. 
The olive-grove will be manured by the same method 
as that which I suggested in the second book," if, 

' Book II. 15. 1-3. 



14 posui, si 1 tamen segetibus prospicietur. At si ipsis 
tantummodo arboribus, satisfacient ^ singulis ster- 
coris caprini sex librae, vel^ stercoris sicci modii 
singuli, vel amurcae insulsae congius * sufficient, 
Stercus autumno debet inici, ut permirtum hieme 
radices oleae calefaciat.^ Amurca minus ^ valentibus 
infundenda est. Nam "^ per hiemem, si vermes atque 
alia suberunt animalia, hoc medicamento necantur. 

15 Plerumque etiam locis siccis et humidis arbores 
musco infestantur. Quem nisi ferramento earn * 
raseris,^ nee fructum nee lactam frondem ^^ olea 
inducet. Quin etiam compluribus interpositis annis 
olivetum putandum est : nam veteris proverbii 
meminisse convenit, eum qui aret olivetum, rogare ^^ 
fructum ; qui stercoret, exorare ; qui caedat, cogere. 
Quod tamen satis erit octavo anno fecisse, ne fructu- 
arii rami subinde amputentur. 

16 Solent etiam quamvis laetae arbores fructum non 
afFerre. Eas terebrari gallica terebra convenit, 
atque ita in foramen ^^ viridem taleam ^^ oleastri arete 
immitti.^* Sic velut inita arbor fecundo semine 

^ si om. SAac. 

* satisfaciant edd. : satis servari S : satis servaveri A : 
satis servaveris a : satis servaverimus c. 

^ vel add. Schneider. 

* insulsae congius Schneider : in singulis condivis SAc : in 
singulis congiis a. 

* calefacit SAac. 

* minus ex Palladio add. Schneider. 
' Post nam add. eius SAac. 

* eam scripsi : ea SAac. 

* reseris SA : resecaveris ac. 
1" laeta fronde SAac. 

'1 rigare SAac. 


BOOK V. IX. 13-16 

that is, provision is going to be made for a crop of 
corn." If you are providing only for the olive-trees 14 
themselves, six pounds of goat's dung or a single 
viodius of dry dung or a congius of unsalted lees of 
oil will suffice. The dung ought to be put in during f 
the autumn, so that, being thoroughly mixed in, it ' 
may warm the roots of the olive in the winter. The 
lees of oil should be poured upon those trees which are 
not thriving very well ; for during the winter, if worms 
and other creatures have got into them, they are 
killed by this treatment. Generally too in dry as well 15 
as in moist places the trees are infested with moss, 
and unless you scrape it off with an iron instrument, 
the olive-tree will not put forth fruit or an abundance 
of leaves. Moreover, the olive-grove must be pruned 
at intervals of several years; for it is well to re- 
member the old proverb " He who ploughs the olive- 
grove, asks it for fruit; he who manures it, begs for 
fruit ; he who lops it, forces it to yield fruit." How- 
ever, it will suffice to have pruned it every eighth 
year, so that the fruit-bearing branches may not be 
from time to time cut off. 

It happens also frequently that, though the trees 16 
are thriving well, they fail to bear fruit. It is a good 
plan to bore them with a Gallic auger and to put 
tightly into the hole a green slip taken from a wild 
olive-tree ; the result is that the tree, being as it were 
impregnated with fruitful offspring, becomes more pro- 

" I.e. if corn is being sown between the olive-trees. 

^* formem SAac. 

" viridam talem SA : viridem talem ac. 

^* partem dimitti Aac : parte dimitti S. 



fertilior extat. Sed ^ haec ablaqueatione adiuvanda 
est amurcaque insulsa cum suilla vel nostra urina ^ 
vetere, cuius utriusque modus servatur.^ Nam 
maximae arbori, ut tantundem aquae misceatur,* 
urna abunde erit. Solent etiam vitio soli ^ fructum 

17 oleae negare.^ Cui rei sic medebimur. Altis gyris 
ablaqueabimus eas, deinde calcis pro magnitudine 
arboris plus minusve circumdabimus : sed minima 
arbor modium postulat. Hoc remedio si nihil fuerit 
eflFectum, ad praesidium insitionis confugiendum erit. 
Quemadmodum autem olea inserenda sit, postmodo 
dicemus. Non nunquam etiam in olea unus ramus 
ceteris aliquanto est laetior. Quem nisi recideris, 
tota arbor contristabitur. 

Ac de olivetis hactenus dixisse satis est. Superest 
ratio ' pomiferarum arborum, cui rei deinceps 
praecepta dabimus. 

X. Modum pomarii, priusquam semina seras, ^ 
circummunire ^ maceriis vel saepe vel fossa praecipio,^" 
nee solum pecori, sed et homini transitum negare, 
quoniam si saepius cacumina manu detracta aut a 
pecoribus praerosa sunt, in perpetuum semina in- 

2 crementum capere nequeunt. Generatim autem dis- 

^ Post sed add. si SAac. 

^ nostra urina : natura SAac. 

' servaturum SAac. 

* misceatur ac : misatur 5.4. 

* soli a : sol SAc. 

* negare S : necare Aac. 
^ ratio om. SAac. 


BOOK V. IX. i6-x. 2 

ductive. But it must also be assisted by being dug 
round and by unsalted lees of oil mixed with pigs' 
urine or stale human urine, a fixed quantity of each 
being observed ; for a very large tree an urn will be 
fully enough, if the same quantity of water is mixed 
with it. Olive-trees also often refuse to bear fruit 
because of the badness of the soil. This we shall 17 
remedy in the following manner. We shall dig deep 
trenches in circles round them and then put more or 
less lime round them according to the size of the tree, 
though the smallest tree requires a modius. If there 
is no result from this remedy, we shall have to have 
recourse to the assistance of grafting. How an olive- 
tree should be ingrafted we will describe hereafter. 
Sometimes also one branch of an olive-tree flourishes 
somewhat more than the rest and, unless you cut it 
back, the whole tree will languish. 

This must suffice for our description of olive-groves. 
It remains to deal with the treatment of fruit-bear- 
ing trees, on which subject we will give instructions 

X. <* Before you set the plants I advise you to protect Pomiferous 
the bounds of your orchard with walls or a fence or a 
ditch and to deny a passage not only to cattle but 
also to man, for if their tops are frequently pulled 
off by the hand of man or gnawed away by cattle, 
the plants are forever unable to reach their full 
growth. It is expedient to arrange the trees accord- 2 

" The rest of this book is slightly longer but almost identical 
with de Arhoribus, Ch. 18 to the end. 

* semina seras a : semiseras SAc. 

* circumvenire SAac. 

^^ praecipio S : praecipi Ac : praecipiti a. 



ponere arbores utile est, maxime ne ^ etiam imbecilla 
a valentiore prematur, quia nee viribus nee magnitu- 
dine par est, imparique spatio temporis adolescit. 
Terra, quae vitibus apta est, etiam arboribus est 
utilis. Ante annum, quam seminare voles, scrobem 
fodies.2 Ita sole pluviisve ^ macerabitur, et quod * 
positum est cito comprehendet.^ At si eodem anno 
et scrobem facere ^ et arbores serere properabis,'' 
minime autem duos menses scrobes ® fodito, postea 
stramentis incensis calefacito ; quos si latiores 
patentioresque feceris,* laetiores uberioresque fructus 
percipies. Sed scrobis clibano similis sit, imus 
summo ^^ patentior, ut laxius radices vagentur ac 
minus frigoris hieme ^^ minusque aestate vaporis per 
angustum os penetret,^^ etiam clivosis locis terra, 
quae in eum congesta est, a pluviis non abluatur. 

Arbores raris intervallis serito, ut, cum creverint, 
spatium habeant, quo ramos extend ant. Nam si 
spisse posueris, nee infra serere quid poteris, nee 
ipsae fructuosae erunt, nisi intervulseris : itaque 
inter ordines quadragenos pedes minimumque tri- 
cenos relinquere convenit. Semina lege crassa non 
minus quam manubrium bidentis, recta, levia, 

^ ne o : om. SAc. 

* fodies SA : fodi c : fodere a : fodito edd. 
' phiviavc a : pluviasve c : pluviasne SA. 

* qua c : qua pedes SAa. 

' comprehendet S : compedit A : competet ac. 
" facere om. SAac. 

' properabis Brouckhusius : proibis S : prohibis A : pro- 
hibes a : prohibe c. 

* autem duos menses scrobes add. edd. ex libro de Arboribvs 
20, 1 : om. SAac. 

* feceris ac : seris SA. 

^^ imus summo ex libro de Arboribvs I.e. edd. : humus sum- 
mum S : humus summus a : umus summum Ac. 

BOOK V. X. 2-6 

ing to their kinds, chiefly in order to prevent the 
weak from being overwhelmed by the stronger, 
because the former is not equal to the latter either in 
strength or in size and reaches maturity in a different 
period of time. Ground which is suitable for vines 
is also advantageous for trees. You will dig the 
plant-hole in which you wish to put a plant a year 
beforehand, for then it will be softened by the sun 
or the rain, and that which has been put into it Avill 
take root quickly. But if you are in a hurry to make 
the plant-hole and to set the plants in the same 
year, dig the plant-holes at least two months before- 
hand and afterwards warm the holes by burning 
straw in them. The broader and wider you make 
them, the more luxuriant and abundant will be the 
fruit which you will gather. Let your plant-hole be 
like an oven, wider at the bottom than at the top, 
so that the roots may spread more loosely, and less 
cold in winter and less heat in summer may penetrate 
through the narrow mouth, and also that on sloping 
ground the earth which is heaped up in it may not be 
washed away by rains. 

Plant the trees at wide intervals, so that, when 
they have grown, they may have room to spread 
their branches. For if you set them thickly, neither 
will you be able to plant anything underneath them, 
nor will they be themselves fruitful unless you thin 
them out ; and so it is well to leave forty or at least 
thirty feet between the rows. Choose plants at least 
as thick as the handle of a hoe and straight, smooth, 

11 hieme om. SAac. 

1* openetrum SAc : penetrum a. 



procera, sine ulceribus, integro libro. Ea bene et 
celeriter eomprehendent. Si ex arboribus ^ ramos ^ 
sumes,^ de iis quae quotannis bonos et uberes fructus 
afFerunt, eligito ab humeris * qui sunt contra solem 
orientem. Si cum radice plantam posueris, in- 
crementum maius futurum quam ceteris senties. 
Arbor insita fructuosior est quam quae insita non est, 
id est, ^ quam quae ramis ^ aut plantis ponetur.'' 
Sed antequam arbusculas ^ transferas,^ nota ventos 
quibus ^^ antea fuerant constitutae, postea ^^ manus 
adhibeto ^^ ut de clivo et sicco in ^^ humidum agrum 
transferas. Trifurcam ^^ maxime ponito. Ea extet ^^ 
minime tribus pedibus. Si eodem scrobe duas aut 
tres arbusculas voles ^^ constituere,^' curato ne inter i® 
se contingant,^^ nam ita vermibus interibunt.^o Cum 
semina depones, ^^ dextra sinistraque usque ^^ in imum 
scrobem fasciculos ^3 sarmentorum bracchii crassitu- 
dinis demittito, ita ut supi-a terram paulum extent, 

1 arboribus Schneider ex libro de Arboribns 20, 1 : veteribus 
Aac : veterius S. 

^ ramis SAc : rami a. 

* sumes SA : summes a : sumus c. 

* ab humeris Schneider ex libro de Arboribxis, I.e. : ab ilia 

* orientem — id est add, Schneider ex libro de Arboribus, I.e. : 
om. SAac. 

* ramis a : rimis SAc. 

' ocnentur/S: conentur ^ac. 

* arbuscula SAac. 

* transferres SAa : transferes c. 

1** ventos quibus scripsi : viventis quibus Sa : viveras 
quibus A : vivenes(?) quibus c. 
11 ante erunt (runt S) constitui possit SAac. 
1* adhibeto S : adiuveto Aac, 
'^ in om. SAac. 

1* trifurcam ac : trifurcamina S : trifurcam in A. 
'5 extent SAac, 


BOOK V. X. 6-8 

tall, free from excrescences and with sound bark. 
Such plants will take root well and quickly. If you 
take branches from trees, choose them from those 
which bear good and abundant fruit every year, 
taking them from the " shoulders " which face the 
rising sun. If you have set a plant with its root you 
will perceive that the growth will be quicker than in 
the other plants. A tree which is ingrafted is more 
fruitful than one which is not, that is, than one 
which is planted in the form of a branch or of a small 
plant. But, before you transplant small trees, note 
what winds they had formerly faced, and afterwards 
get to work and transfer them from a sloping, dry 
position to moist soil. Preferably plant a tree which 
has three prongs, and let it project at least three 
feet from the ground. If you wish to put two or three 
small trees in the same trench, take care that they do 
not touch one another, since then they will be killed 
by worms. When you set plants, lower right into 
the bottom of the trench, on the right and on the left 
hand side, bundles of twigs of the thickness of the 
arm in such a way that they project a little above the 
soil, so that in summer you may with little trouble 

1* voles c : volens SAa. 

I'' constituere SAac. 

** puter SAac. 

1' constringat SAac. 

*° nam ita vermibus interibunt scripsi ex libra de Arboribvs 
20, 2 : aut verbi ut interibunt 8 : aut verbi aut interibunt 

^^ cum semina depones ex libra de Arboribus I.e. Schneider : 
depone Aac : depones iS. 

22 usque ac : us SA. 

23 fasciculas SA. 



per quos aestate parvo labore aquam radicibus sub- 
ministres. Arbores ac semina cum radicibus autum- 

9 no serito, hoc est circa idus Octob. ; taleas et ramos ^ 
prime vere,2 antequam^ germinent* arbores, deponito : 
ac ne tinea molesta sit seminibus ficulneis, in imum 
scrobem lentisci taleam inverse cacumine demittito. 

P'icum frigoribus ne serito. Loca aprica, calculosa, 
glareosa, interdum et saxeta amat. Eiusmodi arbor 
cito convalescit, si scrobes amplos patentesque feceris. 

10 Ficorum genera,^ etsi sapore atque habitu distant, 
uno modo, sed pro differentia agri seruntur. Locis 
frigidis et autumni temporibus ^ aquosis praecoques 
ponito ut ante pluviam fructum deligas : locis 
calidis hibernas serito. At' si voles ficum quamvis 
non natura seram facere, tunc grossulos, prioremve 
fructum decutito,^ ita alterum edet,^ quem in hie- 
mem^'^ difFeret. Non nunquam etiam, cum frondere^^ 
coeperint arbores, cacumina fici ferro summa prodest 
amputare : sic firmiores arbores et feraciores sunt ; 
ac semper conveniet, simulatque folia agere coeperit 
ficus, rubricam amurca ^^ diluere, et cum stercore 

11 humano ad radicem infundere. Ea res efficit 
uberiorem fructum, et farctum ^' fici pleniorem ac 

^ taleas et ramos addidi ex libro de Arboribvs, 20, 3. 

* primo vers edd. : removerere S : removeret Aac. 
' antequam edd. : qua S : equam A : aqiiam ac. 

* germinant SAac. 

* fico genera ta SAac. 

* temporis SAac. 
' aut SAac. 

* decutit SAac. 
» det SAac. 

'" hieme SAac. 

'' frondere Aac : fronde S. 

1* amurgam S. 


BOOK V. X. 8-1 1 

convey water through them to the roots. Set trees 
and seedlings with roots in autumn, that is, about 
October 15th, but plant cuttings and branches in 9 
the early spring before the trees begin to bud ; and, 
in order that the moth may not damage fig-tree 
seedlings, put in the bottom of the trench a slip from 
a mastic-tree with its top inverted. 

Do not plant a fig-tree in cold weather. It likes 
sunny positions, where there are pebbles and gravel, 
and sometimes also rocky places. This kind of tree 
quickly gains strength if you make your trenches 
roomy and wide. The various kinds of fig-tree, al- 10 
though they differ greatly in flavour and habit, are 
planted in the same manner, allowance being made for 
the difference of soil. In cold places and where the 
autumn season is wet, you should plant those whose 
fruits ripen early, so that you may gather the fruit 
before the rain comes ; but plant winter figs in warm 
places. If, on the other hand, you wish to make a 
fig-tree bear late fruit, which it does not naturally 
do, shake down the unripe or early fruit, and it will 
then produce another crop which it will defer to the 
winter. Sometimes too, when the trees begin to bear 
leaves, it is beneficial to cut off the extreme tops of 
the fig-tree with a knife ; the trees are then sturdier 
and more prolific. It will be always a good plan, as 
soon as the fig-tree begins to put forth leaves, to 
dissolve ruddle in lees of olive-oil and pour it together 
with human ordure over the roots. This makes the 11 
fruit more abundant and the inner part of the fig fuller 

1' farctum add. edd. ex libro de Arboribus 21, 2 : partum 



meliorem. Serendae sunt autem praecipue Livi- 
anae,^ Africanae, Chalcidicae, Fulcae, Lydiae, Calli- 
struthiae,^ Astropiae,^ Rhodiae * Libycae, Tiburnae,^ 
omnes etiam biferae et triferae flosculi. 

12 Nucem Graecam serito circa cal. Febr,, quia 
prima gemmascit : agrum durum, calidum, siccum 
desiderat. Nam in locis diversis nucem si depo- 
sueris, plerumque putrescit. Antequam nucem 
deponas, in aqua mulsa nee nimis dulci macerato. 
Ita iucundioris saporis fructum, cum adoleverit, 

13 praebebit, et interim melius atque celerius frondebit. 
Ternas nuces in trigonum statuito, et nux a nuce 
minime palmo absit, et apex ^ ad Favonium spectet. 
Omnis autem nux unam radicem mittit, et simplici 
stilo prorepit. Cum ad scrobis solum radix pervenit, 
duritia humi coercita recurvatur, et ex se in modum 
ramorum alias radices emittit. 

14 Nucem Graecam et Avellanam Tarentinam facere 
hoc modo poteris. In quo scrobe destinaveris nuces 
serere,' in eo terram minutam in modo^ semipedis 
ponito, ibique semen ferulae repangito.^ Cum ferula 
fuerit enata, earn findito, et in medulla eius sine 

^ libianae S. 

* callistrustiae S : callistrustiae A : callistrusitae c : calli- 
strusneae a. 

* astopiae SA : asthopie c : stopie a. 

* rhodie ac : rohiae SA. 

* Tiburnae scripsi : tybernae Aa : tibeme S : thibeme c. 

* apex scripsi : anceps SAac. 

' necesse rere SA : nee esse serere a. 
' in modum S : pro modum Aac. 

* repangito A : pangito S : repaginate c : om. a. 

" Pliny, N.H. XV. § 70. It is said to have been called after 
Livia, the wife of Augustus. 

* Pliny, N.H. XIV. § 69 : called after Chalcis in Euboea. 


BOOK V. X. 11-14 

and better. You should chiefly plant the Livian," 
African, Chalcidian,^ Fulcan,'' Lydian, Callistruthian,'* 
Astropian/ Rhodian, Libyan and Tiburnian/ fig-trees, 
also all those which bear a floweret twice or three 
times a year. 

You should plant the almond-tree, since it is the 12 
first tree to put out buds, about February 1st. It 
requires hard, warm, dry ground ; for if you plant a 
nut in places which have different qualities from 
these, it generally rots. Before you put the nut in 
the ground, soak it in honey-water, which should not 
be too sweet ; it will then, when it comes to maturity, 
produce fruit of a pleasanter flavour, and meanwhile 
its foliage will grow better and quicker. Place three 13 
nuts so as to form a ti'iangle and let them be at least 
a hand's breadth away from one another, and let one 
apex of the triangle face towards the West. Every 
nut sends out one root and creeps out of the ground 
with a single stem. When the root has reached the 
bottom of the planting-hole, it is checked by the 
hardness of the soil and bent back and puts forth 
from itself other roots like the branches of a tree. 

You will be able to make an almond and a filbert 
into a Tarentine nut in the following manner. In 14 
the planting-hole in which you intend to sow the 
nuts place fine soil to a depth of half a foot and set in 
it a fennel-root. When the fennel has grown up, 
split it and secrete in the pith of it an almond or a 

' This kind is not otherwise mentioned and the name is 
perhaps corrupt. 

^ Book X. line 416 : so called because sparrows {arpovdol) 
were fond of it. It was also called passeraria. 

' This kind is not otherwise mentioned and the name is 
perhaps corrupt. 

■^ From Tibur in Latium, the modem Tivoli. 



putamine nucem Graecam aut Avellanam abscondito, 
et ita adobruito. Hoc ante calend. Martias facito, 
vel etiam inter nonas et idus Mart. Eodem tempore 
iuglandem et pineam et castaneam serere oportet. 

15 Malum Punicum vere^ usque in cal. Aprilis recta 
seritur. Quod si acidum aut minus dulcem fructum 
feret, hoc modo emendabitur. Stercore suillo 
et humano urinaque vetere radices rigato. Ea res 
et fertilem arborem reddet, et primis annis fructum 
vinosum ; post quinquennium dulcem, et apyrenum ^ 
facit. Nos exiguum admodum laseris vino diluimus, 
et ita cacumina arboris summa oblevimus. Ea res 

16 emendavit acorem malorum. Mala Punica ne in 
arbore hient,^ remedio sunt ■* lapides tres, si, cum 
seres ^ arborem, ad radicem ipsam coUocaveris.^ At 
si iam arborem satam ' habueris, scillam secundum 
radicem arboris serito. Alio modo, cum iam matura 
mala fuerint, antequam rumpantur, ramulos, quibus 
dependent, intorqueto. Eodem modo servabuntur 
incorrupta etiam toto anno. 

17 Pyrum autumno ante brumam serito, ita ut 
minime dies xxv ad brumam ^ supersint. Quae ut 
sit ferax, cum adoleverit, alte cam ablaqueato, et 
iuxta ipsam radicem truncum findito, et in ^ fissuram 
cuneum ^" tedae pineae adicito, et ibi relinquito : 
deinde adobruta ablaqueatione cinerem supra terram 

18 inicito. Curandum est autem, ut quam generosis- 

* vere edd. ex libro de Arboribus 23, 1 : habere SAac. 
^ aprinum SAac. 

' hient a : lent SA : ventre medio c. 

* erit SAac. 

^ seres Aa : res Sc. 

* collocaveris S : colueris Aac. 
' sitam SAac. 

* ad brumam ac : a brumam A : abruma S. 


BOOK V. X. 14-18 

filbert without its shell, and then cover it over with 
earth. Do this before March 1st or between 
March 7th and 15th. You should at the same time 
plant the walnut, the pinenut and the chestnut. 

It is correct to plant the pomegranate in the spring 15 
up to April 1st. But if it bears fruit which is bitter 
and not sweet, this will be remedied by the follow- 
ing method : moisten the roots with sow-dung and 
human ordure and stale urine. This will both render 
the tree fertile and during the first years cause the 
fruit to have a vinous taste ; after five years it makes 
it sweet and its kernels soft. We ourselves have 
mixed just a little juice of alexanders with wine and 
smeared the uppermost tops of the tree. This has 
remedied the tartness of the fruit. To prevent 16 
pomegranates from bursting on the tree, the remedy 
is to place three stones at the very root of the tree 
when you plant it; if, however, you have already 
planted it sow a squill near the root of the tree. 
According to another method, when the fruit is al- 
ready ripe and before it bursts, you should twist the 
little boughs on which it hangs. By the same method 
the fruit will keep without decaying for a whole year. 

Plant the pear-tree in the autumn before winter 17 
comes, so that at least twenty-five days remain before 
mid-winter. In order that the tree may be fruitful 
when it has come to maturity, trench deeply round 
it and split the trunk close to the very root and into 
the fissure insert a wedge of pitch-pine and leave it 
there ; then, when the loosened soil has been filled 
in, throw ashes over the ground. We must take 18 
care to plant our orchards with the most excellent 

» in om. SAac. i*" cuneo SAac. 




simis pyris pomaria conseramus. Ea sunt Crustu- 
mina, regia, Signina, Tarentina, quae Syria dicuntur, 
purpurea, superba, hordeacea, Aniciana, Naeviana, 
Favoniana, Lateritana, Dolabelliana, Turraniana, 
volaema, mulsa,i praecocia, venerea, et quaedam alia, 

19 quorum enumeratio nunc longa est. Praeterea 
malorum genera exquirenda maxime Scaudiana,^ 
Matiana, orbiculata, Cestina, Pelusiana,^ Amerina, 
Syrica, melimela, Cydonia : quorum genera tria sunt, 
struthia,* chrysomelina, mustea. Quae omnia non 
solum voluptatem, sed etiam salubritatem afFerunt. 
Sorbi quoque et Armeniaci atque Persici non minima 
est gratia. Mala, sorba, pruna, post mediam 

20 hiemem ^ usque in idus Feb. serito. Mororum ^ ab 
idib. Feb. usque ad aequinoctium vernum satio est. 

^ mulsa ac : mulsia 8 A. 

^ Scaudiana scripsi : Scaidianam S : Gaudiana Aac. 

* pedusiana SAac. 

* struthia Aac : struti <S'. 

* hiemem edd. ex libro de Arboribus 25, 1 : essem SA : 
messem ac. 

* mororum edd. ex libro de Arboribus I.e. : malorum SA. 

" From Crustumium in Etruria. 

" From Signia in Latium. 

" So called, according to Pliny {N.H, XV. § 55) because they 
are ripe at the time of the barley-harvest. 

** So called from the person who introduced it (Pliny, I.e. ; 
Cato, li.R., VII. 3). 

« Probably called after a member of the gens Naevia, who 
perhaps also introduced the Naevian olive (Book XII. 50. 1). 

■^ Called after M. Favonius, an imitator of Cato (Cicero, Alt. 
I. 14. 5). 

' From Laterium near Arpinum, where Q. Cicero had a villa 
(Cicero, AH. XI, 1). 


BOOK V. X. 18-20 

pear-trees that we can find. These are the Crustu- 
minian," the Royal, the Signine,* the Tarentine, 
which are called Syrian, the Purple, the Superb, 
the Barley-pear," the Anician,** the Naevian,« the 
Favonian,/ the Lateritan,? the Dolabellian,'' the 
Turranian,' the Warden-pear,i the Honey-pear, the 
Early-ripe, the Venus-pear and certain others, which 
it is a long task to enumerate now. Moreover, the 19 
following kinds of apple should be especially sought 
after, the Scaudian,* the Matian,^ the Globe- 
apple, the Cestine,"* the Pelusian," the Amerian," 
the Syrian, the Honey-apple and the CydonianP 
(of which there are three kinds, the Sparrow- apple, 
the Golden apple and the Must-apple ?). All these 
cause not only pleasure but also good health. 
Service-apples also and apricots and peaches have no 
small charm. You should plant apple-trees, service- 
trees and plum trees after the middle of winter and 
until February 13th. The time for planting mul- 20 
berries is from February 13th to the spring equinox. 

* Called after an unknown member of the Dolabella 

' Called after D. Turranius Niger, the friend of Varro 
(Varro, R.R. II. Introd. 6). 

^ Vergil, Oeorg. 88. Servius derives the name from vola 
and says it means " hand-filler." 

* Called after a certain Scaudius (Pliny, N.H. XV. § 49). 

' Called after C. Matius, a favourite of Augustus (Book XII. 
46. 1). 

"* Called after a certain Cestius (Pliny, loc. cit.). 

" From Pelusium in north Egypt. 

" From Ameria, a town of Umbria. 

** Malum Cydonium is the quince. Cydonia is a town in 

« So called according to Pliny (N.H. XV. § 51) because it 
ripens quickly. 



Siliquam Graecam, quam quidam Kepdriov vocant, et 
Persicum ante brumam per autumnum serito. 
Amygdala, si parum ferax erit, forata arbore lapidem 
adicito, et ita librum arboris inolescere sinito. 

21 Omnium autem generum ramos ^ circa cal. Martias 
in hortis subacta ^ et stercorata terra super pulvinos 
arearum disponere convenit. Danda est opera, ut 
dum teneros ramulos habent, veluti pampinentur, et 
ad unum stilum primo anno semina redigantur. Et 
cum autumnus incesserit, ante quam frigus cacumina 

22 adurat, omnia folia decerpere expedit, et ita crassis 
arundinibus, quae ab una parte nodos integros ha- 
beant, velut pileis ^ induere, atque a frigore et 
gelicidiis teneras adhuc * virgas tueri. Post viginti 
quattuor deinde menses sive transferre et disponere 
in ordinem voles, sive inserere, satis tuto utrumque ^ 
facere poteris.' 

XI. Sed omnis surculus omni arbori inseri potest, 
si non est ei, cui inseritur, cortice dissimilis. Si vero 
etiam similem fructum et eodem tempore afFert, sine 
scrupulo egregie inseritur. Tria genera porro in- 
sitionum antiqui tradiderunt. Unum, quo resecta et 
fissa arbor resectos "^ surculos accipit. Alterum, quo 

^ ramos 8 : ramis A : ramus ac. 

^ subacta edd. ex libro de Arboribus I.e. : in hostis tritta 
SA : trita a : truta c. 

' pileis edd. : tiliae sic SAc : taliae sic a. 

* adhuc edd. ex libro de Arboribus I.e. : adit ut SAc : adit et 

* utrumque edd. ex libro de Arboribus I.e. : utrius SAa : 
utriusque c. 

* poteris om. SAac. 

' resectos Ac : sextos S : resoptos a. 


BOOK V. X. 20-xi. I 

The carob-tree, which some people called Ceration,"^ and 
the peach-tree you should plant during the autumn 
before winter comes. If an almond is not productive 
enough, make a hole in the tree and drive in a stone 
and so allow the bark of the tree to grow over. 

It is proper to plant out the branches of all kinds of 21 
fruit trees about March 1st in gardens on raised beds 
after the soil has been well worked and manured. 
Care must be taken to trim them while the little 
branches are young and tender and in the first year 
the seedlings should be reduced to a single stem. 
When autumn has come on, before the cold nips the 
tops, it is well to strip off all the foliage and to cover 
the trees with caps, as it were, of thick reeds which 22 
have their knots intact on one side, and thus protect 
the still tender rods from cold and frosts. Then 
after twenty-four months you will be able quite safely 
to do whichever you wish of two things — either to 
transplant and arrange them in rows or else to en- 
graft them. 

XI. Any kind of scion can be grafted on any tree, The graft- 
if it is not dissimilar in respect of bark to the tree in t"fes. 
which it is grafted ; indeed if it also bears similar 
fruit and at the same season, it can perfectly well 
be grafted without any scruple. Further, the 
ancients have handed down to us three kinds of 
grafting ; one in which the tree, which has been cut 
and cleft, receives the scions which have been cut; 
the second, in which the tree having been cut admits 

" Kepdriov, which is found in the same sense as here in an in- 
scription at Abydos {O.G.I. , 5. 21. 27), is used in Luke XV. 16 of 
the " husks " eaten by the Prodigal Son. The name is no doubt 
due to the shape of carob-nuts, which Pliny {N.H. XV. § 95) 
describes as " sometimes curved like a sickle." 



resecta inter librum et materiam semina admittit. 
Quae utraque genera veris temporis sunt. Tertium, 
quo ipsas gemmas cum exiguo cortice in partem sui 
delibratam recipit, quam vocant agricolae emplastra- 
tionem ; vel, ut quidam, inoculationem. Hoc genus 
insitionis aestivo tempore optime usurpatur. Quarum 
insitionum rationem cum tradiderimus, a nobis re- 
pertam quoque docebimus. 

Omnes arbores simulatque gemmas agere coe- 
perint,^ luna crescente inserito ; olivam autem circa 
aequinoctium vernum usque in idus Aprilis. Ex qua 
arbore inserere voles, et surculos ad insitionem sumes, 
videto ut sit tenera et ferax nodisque crebris : et 
cum primum germina tumebunt,^ de ramulis anni- 
culis, qui solis ortum spectabunt, et integri erunt, eos 
legito crassitudine digiti minimi. Surculi sint bi- 
furci vel trifurci. Arborem, quam inserere voles, 
serra diligenter exsecato ^ ea parte, qua maxima nit- 
ida et sine cicatrice est : * dabisque operam, ne librum 
laedas. Cum deinde truncum recideris, acuto ferra- 
mento plagam levato. Deinde quasi cuneum tenuera 
ferreum vel osseum inter corticem et materiam ne 
minus digitos tres, sed considerate, demittito, ne 
laedas aut rumpas corticem. Postea surculos quos 
inserere voles falce acuta ex ima parte deradito 

^ coeperit SAa : coepit c. 

" tumibunt SAac. 

' excato S : exsecato Aa ; excecato c. 

« QtS. 

' So called from the plaster of clay or wax used in this 


BOOK V. XI. 1-4 

grafts between the bark and the hard wood (both 
these methods belong to the season of spring) ; and 
the third, when the tree receives actual buds with a 
little bark into a part of it which has been stripped 
of the bark. The last kind the husbandmen call 
emplastration * or, according to some, inoculation.* 
This type of grafting is best employed in the summer. 
When we have imparted the method of these graft- 
ings, we will also set forth another which we have 

You should engraft all other trees as soon as they 
begin to put forth buds and when the moon is 
waxing, but the olive-tree about the spring equinox 
and until April 13th. See that the tree from which 
you intend to graft and are going to take scions for 
insertion is young and fruitful and has frequent 
knots and, as soon as the buds begin to swell, choose 
from among the small branches which are a year old 
those which face the sun's rising and are sound and 
have the thickness of the little finger. The scions 
should have two or three points. You should cut 
the tree into which you wish to insert the scion care- 
fully with a saw in the part which is most healthy 
and free from scars, and you will take care not to 
damage the bark. Then, when you have cut away 
part of the trunk, smooth over the wound with a sharp 
iron instrument ; then put a kind of thin wedge of 
iron or bone between the bark and the firm-wood to 
a depth of not less than three inches, but do so care- 
fully so as not to damage or break the bark. After- 
wards with a sharp pruning-knife pare down the 
scions which you wish to insert, at their bottom end 

' Because an " eye " or bud is taken from one tree and 
inserted in another. 



tantum, quantum cuneus demissus ^ spatii dabit, 
atque ita, ne medullam ^ neve alterius partis corticem 
laedas. Ubi sureulos ^ paratos habueris,* cuneum 
vellito, statimque sureulos dimittito ^ in ea foramina,^ 
quae cuneo adacto inter corticem et materiam feeeris. 
Ea autem fine, qua adrasei'is, sureulos sic inserito, ut 
semipede ' vel amplius de arbore extent. In una 
arbore duos, vel si truncus vastior est, plures calamos 
recte inseres, dum ne minus quattuor digitorum in- 
ter eos sit spatium. Pro arboris magnitudine et 
corticis bonitate haec facito. Cum omnes sureulos, 
quos arbor ea patietur, demiseris, libro ulmi vel iunco 
aut vimine arborem constringito : postea paleato 
luto bene subacto oblinito totam plagam, et spatium 
quod est inter sureulos, usque eo dum * minima 
quattuor digitis insita extent.^ Supra deinde mu- 
seum ^'^ imponito, et ita ligato, ne pluvia dilabatur. 
Quosdam tamen magis delectat in trunco arboris 
locum seminibus serra facere, insectasque partes 
tenui scalpello levare, atque ita sureulos aptare. Si 
pusillam arborem inserere ^^ voles, imam abscindito, 
ita ut sesquipede e terra ^^ extet. Cum deinde praeci- 
deris, plagam diligenter levato : et medium truncum 
acuto scalpello modice findito, ita ut fissura digitorum 

^ demissis c : dimissus SAa. 

* medullis SAac. 

' post sureulos add. Aac dimittito. 

* straveris SAac. 

* dimittito addidi ex libro de Arborihus I.e. 

* foramina edd. ex libro de Arboribus I.e. : forma SAac. 
' semipedem SAac. 

* usque ad eodem S. 

* in una — § 6, insita extent S : om. Aac. 

10 museum edd. ex libro de Arboribus 26, 6 : ramuscula Sac: 
ramieula(?) A, 


BOOK V. XI. 4-7 

to such a size as will fill the space given by a wedge 
which has been thrust in, in such a way as not to 
damage the cambium or the bark on the other side. 
When you have got the scions ready, pull out the 5 
wedge and immediately push down the scions into 
the holes which you made by driving in the wedge 
between the bark and the firm-wood. Put in the 
scions by inserting the end where you have pared 
them down in such a way that they stand out half-a- 
foot or more from the tree. You will be correct in 
inserting two grafts in one tree, or more if the trunk 
is larger, provided that the space between them is 
not less than four inches. In doing so take into 
account the size of the tree and the quality of the 
bark. When you have put in all the scions that the 6 
tree will stand, bind the tree with elm-bark or reeds 
or osiers ; next with well-worked clay mixed with 
straw daub the whole of the wound and the space 
between the grafts to the point at which the scions 
still project at least four inches. Then put moss 
over the clay and bind it on so that the rain may not 
seep through. Some people, however, prefer to make 
a place for the slips in the trunk of the tree with a 
saw and then smooth the parts in which cuts have 
been made with a thin surgical-knife and then fit in 
the grafts. If the tree which you wish to engraft is 7 
small, cut it off low down so that it projects a foot 
and a half from the ground ; then, after cutting it 
down, carefully smooth the wound and split the 
stock in the middle a little way with a sharp knife, 

^^ serere SAac. 

^* sesquipedam e terra A : sequipedamen terra S : sexquipe- 
dam e terra o : sexquipedem e terra c. 



trium sit in ea. Deinde cuneum, quo ^ diducatur, 
inserito, et surculos ex utraque parte derasos de- 
mittitOj sic ut librum seminis libro arboris aequalem 

8 facias. Cum surculos diligenter aptaveris, cuneum 
eximito, et arborem, ut supra dixi, alligato : deinde 
terram circa arborem adaggerato usque ad ipsum 
insitum. Ea res a vento et calore maxime tuebitur. 

Nos tertium genus insitionis invenimus, quod ^ 
cum sit subtilissimum, non omni generi arborum ' 
idoneum est, sed fere recipiunt talem insitionem, 
quae humidum succosumque et validum librum ha- 

9 bent, sicut ficus. Nam et lactis plurimum mittit, et 
corticem robustum habet, Optime itaque * inseritur 
tali ratione.^ Ex arbore, de qua inserere voles, 
novellos et nitidos ramos eligito, in iisdemque quae- 
rito ^ gemmam, quae bene apparebit, certamque ' 
spem germinis habebit : earn duobus digitis quadratis 
circumsignato, ut gemma media sit : et ita acuto 
scalpello circumcisam diligenter, ne earn laedas, 

10 delibrato. Item alterius arboris, quam emplastra- 
turus es, nitidissimum ramum eligito, et eiusdem 
spatii corticem circumcidito, et materiam delibrato. 
Deinde in eam partem, quam nudaveris, praepara- 

^ quo Aac : quod(?) S. 

* invenimus quod add. edd. : om. SAac. 

* generi arboris a : generi arborum c : generiem arbori A : 
geriem arbori S. 

* ea add. S. 

* tali ratione scripsi ex libro de Arboribus 26, 7 : carifici 
ratione S : caprifici raneus Ac : caprifici ramos a. 

* querito SA : serito ac, 



so that there is a cleft of three inches in it. Then 
insert a wedge by which the cleft may be kept open, 
and thrust down into it scions which have been pared 
away on both sides, in such a way as to make the bark 
of the scion exactly meet the bark of the tree. When 8 
you have carefully fitted in the scions, pull out the 
wedge and bind the tree in the manner desci'ibed 
above ; then heap the earth round the tree right up 
to the graft. This will give the best protection from 
wind and heat. 

A third kind of grafting is our own invention ; 
being a very delicate operation, it is not suited to 
every kind of tree. Generally speaking those trees 
admit of this kind of grafting which have moist, juicy 
and strong bark, like the fig-tree ; for this both yields 9 
a great abundance of milk and has a stout bark, and 
so a graft can be very successfully inserted by the 
following method. On the tree from which you wish 
to take your grafts, you should seek out young and 
healthy branches, and you should look out on them 
for a bud which has a good appearance and gives 
sure promise of producing a sprout. Make a mark 
round it enclosing two square inches, so that the 
bud is in the middle, and then make an incision all 
round it with a sharp knife and remove the bark 
carefully so as not to damage the bud. Also choose 10 
the healthiest branch of the other tree, which you are 
going to inoculate, and cut out a part of the 
bark of the same dimensions as before and strip the 
bark off the firm-wood. Then fit the scutcheon which 
you have prepared to the part which you have 

' certamque edd, ex libro de Arboribm 26, 8 ; certaminis 



turn emplastrum aptato,i ita ut alterius ^ delibratae 

11 parti conveniat. Ubi ita haec feceris, circa gemmam 
bene alligato, cavetoque ne laedas ipsum germen. 
Deinde commissuras et vincula luto oblinito, spatio 
relicto, ut gemma libera vinculo non urgeatur. Ar- 
boris autem insitae sobolem et ramos superiores 
praecidito, ne quid sit, quo ^ possit succus * avocari,^ 
aut ne cui ^ magis quam insito serviat. Post xxi 
diem solvito emplastrum. Et hoc genere optima 
etiam olea inseritur. 

12 Quartum illud genus insitionis iam docuimus, cum 
de vitibus disputavimus. Itaque supervacuum est 
hoc loco repetere traditam rationem terebrationis. 

Sed cum antiqui negaverint posse omne genus 
surculorum in omnem arborem inseri, et ex ilia quasi 
finitione, qua nos ante paulo usi sumus, veluti quan- 
dam ' legem sanxerint, eos tantum ^ surculos posse 
coalescere, qui sint cortice ac libro et fructu consi- 
miles iis arboribus, quibus inseruntur, existimavimus 
errorem huius opinionis discutiendum, tradendam- 
que posteris, rationem, qua possit omne genus surculi 

13 omni generi ^ arboris inseri. Quo ne longiore 
exordio legentem fatigemus, unum quasi exemplum 
subiciemus, -quo possit omne genus surculi dissimi- 
libus 1" arboribus inseri. 

1 aptato Sc : apto Aa. 

^ alterius scripsi : altere Aac : alte S. 

* quo edd. ex libro de Arboribus 26, 9 : quod SAac. 

* succus add. edd. ex libro de Arboribus I.e. : om. SAac. 

* avocari S : vocari Aac. 

* ne cui edd. ex libro de Arboribus I.e. : necuim SA : nee 
hurai a : ne vim c. 

' veluti quandam edd. ex libro de Arboribus I.e. : vel 
antequam SAa : ut antiquum c. 

* tantum c : tantos SAa. 


BOOK V. XI. 10-13 

bared, so that it exactly corresponds to the area on 
the other tree from which the bark has been stripped. 
Having done this, bind the bud well all round and be 11 
careful not to damage the sprout itself. Then daub 
the joints of the wound and the ties round them with 
mud, leaving a space, so that the bud may be free and 
not be constricted by the binding. Cut away the shoot 
and upper branches of the tree into which you have in- 
serted the graft, so that there may be nothing to 
which the sap can be drawn off or benefit from the sap 
to another part rather than the graft. After the 
twenty-first day unbind the scutcheon. This kind of 
grafting is very successful with the olive also. 

The fourth method of grafting we have already 12 
explained when we treated of vines ; so it is super- 
fluous to repeat here the method of " terebration " 
already described.* 

But since the ancients denied that any kind of scion 
could be grafted on any kind of tree and, according 
to the limitation which we made use of just now,** 
established as a hard and fast rule that only those 
scions can unite which resemble the trees in which 
they are inserted in bark and rind and fruit, we have 
thought it advisable to destroy this erroneous 
opinion and to hand down to posterity a method by 
which any kind of scion can be grafted upon any kind 
of tree. That we may not weary the reader with 13 
too long a discourse, we will submit a single example 
by following which any kind of scion can be grafted 
upon a different kind of tree. 

« IV. 29, 13 : V. 9. 16. ^ § 1 of this chapter. 

• omni generi c : omni genere A : omne genere 8 : om. a. 
^^ dissimilibus scripsi : dissimilis 8 : dimissis Aac. 



Scrobem ^ quoquoversus pedum ^ quattuor ab 
arbore olivae tam longe fodito, ut extremi rami oleae 
possint eam contingere.^ In ^ scrobem deinde fici 
arbusculam deponito, diligentiamque adhibeto, ut 

14 robusta et nitida fiat. Post biennium, cum iam satis 
amplum incrementum ceperit, ramum olivae, qui 
videtur nitidissimus, deflecte, et ad crus arboris 
ficulneae religa : atque ita amputatis ceteris ramis, 
ea tantum cacumina,^ quae inserere voles,® relinque ; 
turn arborem fici detrunca, plagamque leva, et me- 

15 diam cuneo finde. Cacumina deinde olivae, sicuti 
matri cohaerent, ex utraque parte adrade, et ita 
fissurae fici insere, cuneumque exime, diligenterque 
ramulos colliga, ne qua vi revellantur.' Sic inter- 
posito triennio coalescet ficus cum olea, et turn de- 
mum quarto anno, cum bene ® coierint,^ velut pro- 
pagines, ramulos olivae a matre resecabis. Hoe 
modo omne genus in omnem arborem inseres. At 
prius quam finem ^^ libri faciamus, quoniam fere 
species ^^ surculorum omnes persequimur prioribus ^^ 
libris, de cytiso praecipere ^^ nunc parvum i* ac 
tempestivum est.^^> ^^ 

^ aerobe SAac. 
^ pedes SAac. 

* possit ea contingere 8 : positae contingere ac : positae 
tangere A. 

* in om. SAac. 

' cacumine ac : cacumineris SA. 

* quae inserere voles add. edd. ex libro de Arboribus 27. 3: 
om. SAac. 

' revellantur ac : revellatur SA. 

* bene edd. ex libro de Arboribus 27. 4 : ene S : eno Ac: 
eo a. 

* coierit SAac. 

^^ finem Aac : fine S. 

11 species a : specimus S : spes c. 


BOOK V. xr. 13-15 

Dig a trench measuring four feet each way at such 
a distance from an olive-tree that the ends of the 
branches can reach it. Then plant a small fig-tree 
in the trench, and be careful that it grows strong and 
healthy. After two years, when it has made enough 14 
growth, bend down the branch of the olive-tree 
which seems to be the healthiest and bind it to the 
stock of the fig-tree. Then lop off the rest of the 
branches and leave only the tops which you wish to 
engraft ; then cut through the trunk of the fig-tree 
and smooth off the wound and split it in the middle 
with a wedge. Then pare the tops of the olive-tree, 15 
still adhering to the mother-tree, on both sides, and 
then insert « them in the cleft in the fig-tree, and 
take away the wedge and carefully tie the little 
branches so that no force may tear them away. 
Then after an interval of three years the fig-tree will 
coalesce with the olive-tree, and finally, in the fourth 
year, when they have become properly united, you 
will cut off the little olive branches from the mother- 
tree, just as if they were layers. This is the way 
in which you will graft any kind of scion on any kind 
of tree. But before we make an end of this book, 
since in the earlier books we treat of almost every 
kind of small tree, I regard it as a brief and opportune 
task to give instructions about the shrub-trefoil.* 

» By bending them over, not cutting them off. 
* The text here is doubtful : one MS. seems to contain 
two sets of words expressing the same thing. 

1* prioribus a : priores SAc. 1* incipere SAac. 
1* parvum Aac : pravum S. i^ p^to A : fuit Sa : om. c. 
^* post puto add. nunc (hunc c) arboris praecipientes oppor- 
tune eius meminerimus SAac. 



XII. Cytisum in agro esse quam plurimum maxime 
refert, quod gallinis, apibus, ovibus, capris, bubus 
quoque et omni genei'i pecudum utilissimus est ; 
quod ex eo cito pinguescit, et lactis plurimum praebet 
ovibus, 1 tum^ etiam ^ octo mensibus viridi eo pabulo 
uti et postea arido possis. Praeterea in quolibet 
agro quamvis macerrimo celeriter comprehendit : 
omnem iniuriam sine noxa patitur. Mulieres quidem 
si lactis inopia premuntur, cytisum aridum in aqua 
macerare oportet, et cum tota nocte permaduerit, 
postero die expressi succi ternas heminas permiscere 
modico vino, atque ita potandum dare : sic et ipsae * 
valebunt, et pueri abundantia lactis confirmabuptur. 
Satio autem cytisi vel autumno circa idus Octobris, 
vel vere fieri potest. 

Cum terram bene subegeris, areolas facito, ibique 
velut ocimi semen cytisi autumno serito. Plantas 
deinde vere disponito, ita ut inter se quoquoversus 
quattuor pedum spatio distent. Si semen non ha- 
bueris, cacumina cytisorum vere deponito, et ster- 
coratam terram circumaggerato. Si pluvia non in- 
cesserit, rigato quindecim proximis diebus : simulat- 
que novam frondem agere coeperit, sarrito, et post 
triennium deinde caedito, et pecori praebeto. Equo ^ 
abunde est viridis pondo xv, bubus pondo vicena, 
ceterisque pecoribus pro portione virium.^ Potest ^ 

^ ovibus add. edd. ex libro de Arboribus 28, 1 : om. SAac. 

* cum SAc : turn a. 

' ovis post etiam add. SAc : iovis quod a. 

* ipsa SAa : ipse c. 

' equo edd. : aeque SA : eque ac. 

* virium Aac : virura S. ' potest Ac : potes S : om. a. 

' Presumably at one feeding. 

BOOK V. XII. 1-4 

XII. It is very important to have as much shrub- Of the 
trefoil as possible on your land, because it is most use- shrui> ""^ 
ful for chickens, bees, sheep, goats, oxen and cattle Trefoil. 
of every kind, which quickly grow fat upon it and it 
makes ewes yield a very large quantity of milk ; 
moreover you could also use it for eight months of the 
year as green fodder and afterwards as dry. Further- 
more, on any ground whatsoever, even if it be very 
lean, it quickly takes root, and it bears any ill- 
treatment without taking harm. Indeed if women 2 
suffer from lack of milk, dry shrub-trefoil ought to 
be steeped in water and, after it has soaked for a 
whole night, on the following day three heminae of 
the juice squeezed out of it should be mixed with 
a little wine and given them to drink ; in this way 
they themselves will enjoy good health, and the 
children will grow strong on the abundance of milk 
provided for them. Shrub-trefoil can be sown either 
in the autumn about October 15th or in the spring. 

When you have worked the soil thoroughly, make 3 
little beds and in the autumn sow there the seed of the 
shrub-trefoil as you would that of basil. Then in 
the spring set out the plants so that they are dis- 
tant four feet each way from one another. If you 
have no seed, plant out tops of shrub-trefoil in the 
spring and heap well-manured soil round them. If 4 
rain has not come on, water them on the fifteen 
following days. As soon as a plant begins to put 
forth young foliage, hoe the ground. Then after 
three years cut down the plants and give them to the 
cattle. Fifteen pounds of shrub-trefoil when it is 
green is quite enough " for a horse, and twenty pounds 
for an ox, and it should be given to the other animals 
according to their strength. Shrub-trefoil can also 



etiam circa sepem agri satis commode ramis cytisus 
seri, quoniam facile comprehendit et iniuriam susti- 
net. Aridum si dabis, parcius praebeto, quoniam 
vires maiores habet, priusque aqua macerato, et 
exemptum paleis permisceto. Cytisum cum aridum 
facere voles, circa mensem Septembrem, ubi semen 
eius grandescere incipiet, caedito, paucisque horis, 
dum flaccescat, in sole habeto : deinde in umbra ex- 
siccato, et ita condito. 

Hactenus de arboribus praecepisse abunde est, 
reddituro pecoris curam et remedia sequenti volu- 


BOOK V. XII. 4-5 

be quite conveniently propagated by planting 
boughs round the fence of a field, since it easily takes 
root and stands up to rough usage. If you give it 
dry, give it rather sparingly, since it has more 
strength, and soak it first in water and after taking 
it out of the water, mix it with chaff. When you wish 
to dry it, cut shrub-trefoil about the month of 
September, when its seed begins to grow large, 
and keep it in the sun for a few hours until it 
withers ; then dry it in the shade and store it. 

In what has gone before I have given ample instruc- 
tion about trees ; in the next book I intend to deal 
with the care of cattle and the remedies for their 





Scio quosdam, Publi Silvine, prudentes agricolas 
pecoris abnuisse curam, gregariorumque pastorum 
velut inimicam suae professionis disciplinam con- 
stantissime repudiasse. Neque infitior id eos aliqua 

1 ratione fecisse, quasi ^ sit agricolae contrarium pastoris 
propositum : cum ille quam maxime subacto et puro 
solo gaudeat, hie novali graminosoque ; ille fructum 
e terra speret, hie e pecore ; ideoque arator abomi- 
netur, at contra pastor optet herbarum proventum. 

2 Sed in his tarn ^ discordantibus votis est tamen quae- 
dam societas atque coniunctio : quoniam et pabulum 
e ^ fundo plerumque domesticis pecudibus magis 
quam alienis depascere ex usu est, et * copiosa 
stercoratione, quae contingit e gregibus, terrestres 

3 fructus exuberant. Nee tamen ulla regie est, in 
qua modo frumenta gignantur, quae non ut hominum ^ 
ita armentorum adiutorio colatur.® Unde etiam 
iumenta et armenta nomina a re ' traxere, quod 

1 qua SA^. * in his tam R : in ista SA^. 

^ ex Lundstrom : et SA^ : e A^ : est c. 

* ex usu est et Schneider : exueste S : exuestet AR. 

* hominum 8 : omnium AR. 

* adiutorio colatur Schneider : adiuratorio colatur S adiu- 
rator inculator A : adiurator inculatur A'. 

"> nomina a re Lundstrom : nominare 8 : nom are A. 




I am well aware, Publius Silvinus, that there are 
some intelligent farmers who have refused to keep 
cattle and have consistently rejected the pursuit 
of the master of a flock as harmful to their profession. 
I do not deny that they have some reason for so 
doing on the ground that the aim of the farmer is 
contrary to that of the shepherd, since the former 
rejoices in land which is tilled and cleared to the 
greatest possible extent, while the latter takes 
pleasure in ground which is fallow and grassy ; the 
one hopes for the fruits of the earth, the other for 
the produce of his cattle, and so the cultivator detests 
while on the other hand the grazier longs for a rich 
yield of grass. But, in spite of these irreconcilable 2 
desires, there exists a sort of alliance and union 
between them, because, firstly, it is generally better 
to use the food provided by one's own farm in feeding 
one's own cattle rather than those of other people, 
and, secondly, because it is owing to the plentiful 
use of manure, which is derived from flocks, that the 
fruits of the earth abound. Nor indeed is there any 3 
region in which nothing but cereals is grown and 
which is not cultivated quite as much by the aid 
of cattle as of men. Hence also draught-animals 
(iumentd) and animals which draw the plough (armentd) 



nostrum laborem, vel onera subvectando ^ vel arando 

Itaque sicut veteres Romani praeceperunt, ipse 
quoque censeo tarn pecorum quam agrorum cultum 

4 pernoscere. Nam in rusticatione vel antiquissima 
est ratio pascendi eademque ^ quaestuosissima, prop- 
ter quod nomina quoque pecuniae et peculii tracta 
videntur a pecore : quoniam et solum id ^ veteres 
possederunt, et adhuc apud quasdam gentes unum 
hoc usurpatur divitiarum genus : sed * ne apud 
nostros quidem colonos alia res uberior." Ut etiam 
M. Cato prodidit,^ qui consulenti, quam partem rei 
rusticae exercendo celeriter locupletari posset ' re- 
spondit : Si bene is pasceret ; ^ rursusque interro- 
ganti, quid deinde faciendo satis uberes fructus per- 
cepturus esset, affirmavit : Si mediocriter pasceret. 

5 Ceterum de tarn sapiente viro piget dicere, quod eum 
quidam auctores memorant eidem quaerenti, quid- 
nam ^ tertium in agricolatione quaestuosum esset, 
asseverasse, si quis vel male pasceret ; cum prae- 
sertim mains dispendium sequatur inertem et ins- 
cium I'' pastorem, quam prudentem ^^ diligentemque 
compendium. ^2 De secundo tamen responso dubium 

^ subvectando R : subiectando S : subtectando A. 

* eandemque SA. * id Lundstrom : in SA. 

* sed S : et AR. ^ re superior SAR. 

* prodidit S : reddidit AR. 
'' posset S : possit AR. 

* is pasceret Lundstrom : ipsasciret S : ipsas geret A. 
' quidam 8 A. 

J« scium SAR. 

" prudenti SAR. 

" conpendium S^ : conprendium S^A. 

" The author here derived iumentum from iuvare, to aid, 
and armentum from arare, to plough. In the latter case the 


derive their names from the fact that they aid our 
labour either by carrying burdens or by ploughing." 

Therefore, as the ancient Romans taught, I myself 
am also of the opinion that we should thoroughly 
understand the management of cattle as well as the 
cultivation of the fields. For in the history of farm- 4 
ing the system of grazing is certainly very ancient 
and at the same time very profitable, and it is on this 
account also that the names for money (pecunia) and 
private property (peculium) seem to have been derived 
from the word for cattle (pecus), because this was the 
only possession which the men of old time had, and, 
even at the present day, amongst some peoples, this 
is the only kind of wealth in general use, and even 
among our farmers there is nothing which yields a 
richer increase. This was the opinion of Marcus Cato 
amongothers, who, when someone seeking advice asked 
him what department of agriculture he should practise 
in order to get rich quickly, replied that he would get 
rich if he were a competent grazier. When the same 
person went on to ask him what is the second best 
thing to do in order to obtain a sufl!iciently rich return, 
Cato insisted that he could achieve this by being a 
moderately good grazier. I feel some hesitation in 5 
relating about so wise a man the reply, which some 
authors attribute to him, when the same person 
enquired what was the third most lucrative practice 
in agriculture, namely, for a man to be even a bad 
grazier; since certainly the losses which attend a 
lazy and ignorant grazier are greater than the profits 
which attend one who is prudent and careful. As 
for Cato's second answer, there is no doubt that the 

derivation is correct, but iumentum is derived from iugum, a 



non est, quin mediocrem negligentiam domini fructus 
pecoris exsuperet. 

6 Quam ob causam nos hanc quoque partem rei 
rusticae, Silvine, quanta valuimus industria, mai- 
orum secuti ^ praeeepta posteritati mandavimus. 
Igitur cum sint duo genera quadrupedum, quorum 
alterum paramus in consortium operum, sicut bovem, 
mulam, equum, asinum ; alterum voluptatis ac re- 
ditus et custodiae causa, ut ovem, capellam, suem, 
canem : ^ de eo genere primum dicemus, cuius usus ^ 

7 nostri laboris est particeps. Nee dubium, quin, ut 
ait Varro, ceteras pecudes bos honore superare 
debeat, praesertim in Italia, quae ab hoc nuncupa- 
tionem traxisse creditur, quod olim Graeci tauros 
italos vocabant,* et in ea urbe, cuius moenibus con- 
dendis mas ^ et femina boves aratro terminum 
signaverunt, vel, ut antiquiora repetam,^ quod item 
Atticis ' Athenis Cereris et Triptolemi fertur 
minister : quod inter fulgentissima sidera particeps 
caeli sit : ^ quod deinde laboriosissimus adhuc hominis 
socius in agricultura : cuius tanta fuit apud antiques ^ 
veneratio, ut tarn capitale esset ^^ bovem necuisse, 
quam civem. Ab hoc igitur promissi operis capiamus 

^ secuti S : sicuti AR. 
^ tamen 8AR. 
' usum BAR. 

* vocant SAR. 

* condendis mas S : condendissimas A. 

* vel, ut antiquiora repetam Liindslrom ex cit. Mulomedi- 
cina Chironis {Ed. Oder) : petam SA. 

' atticus SAR. 

* caelis SA : cell R. 

* aputanti quis S^ : apud antiquis A^ : apud antiquos 

^" capitales set S : capitales et AR. 


profit from cattle more than makes up for a 
moderate amount of carelessness on the part of their 

It is on this account, Silvinus, that, following the 6 
precepts of our forefathers, we have taken all the 
pains which we can to hand on to posterity an account 
of this department of agriculture also. There are, 
then, two classes of fourfooted animals, one of which 
we procure to share our labours, such as the ox, the 
mule, the horse and the ass, and the other which we 
keep for our pleasure and the profit which they bring 
us or for keeping watch, such as the sheep, the goat, 
the pig and the dog. We will deal first with the class 
which we employ to take part in our work. There is 7 
no doubt, as Varro says, that the ox ought to be 
ranked above all other cattle, especially in Italy, 
which is believed to have derived its name from this 
animal, which the Greeks formerly called italos," 
and in that city " at the founding of whose walls an 
ox and a cow drew the plough which marked its 
boundaries ; also because, to go still further back, 
at Athens in Attica the ox too is said to have been 
the attendant of Ceres (D emeter) and Triptolemus , and 
because it has its place in the heavens, among the 
most brilliant constellations, and, lastly, because it 
is still man's most hardworking associate in agri- 
culture, and so great was the respect in which it was 
held among the ancients that it was equally a capital 
crime to have killed an ox and to have killed a fellow- 
citizen. Let us, therefore, begin the task before us 
with the ox. 

" Cicero, de Off. II, § 89, gives a fourth way of getting rich, 
by tilling the soil. 
* Or, more usually, vitulus, calf. * I.e. Rome. 



I. Quae in emendis bubus sequenda quaeque 
vitanda sint, non ex facili dixerim ; quoniam pecudes 
pro regionis caelique statu et habitum ^ corporis at 
ingenium animi et pili colorem gerant. Aliae formae 
sunt Asiaticis, aliae Gallicis, Epiroticis aliae. Nee 
tantum diversitas provinciarum, sed ipsa quoque 
Italia partibus suis discrepat. Campania plerum- 
que boves progenerat albos et exiles, labori tarn en 

2 et culturae patrii soli non inhabiles. Umbria vastos 
et albos ; eademque rubios ; ^ nee minus probabiles 
animis quam corporibus. Etruria et Latium com- 
pactos, sed ad opera fortes. Apenninus durissimos 
omnemque difficultatem tolerantes, nee ab aspectu 
decoros. Quae cum tarn varia et diversa ^ sint, tamen 
quaedam quasi communia et certa praecepta in 
emendis iuvencis arator sequi debet ; eaque Mago 
Carthaginiensis ita prodidit, ut nos deinceps memo- 

3 rabimus. Parandi sunt boves novelli, quadrati, 
grandibus ^ membris, cornibus proceris ac nigrantibus 
et robxistis, fronte lata et crispa, hirtis auribus, oculis 
et labris nigris, naribus resimis patulisque, cervice 
longa et torosa, palearibus amplis et pene ad genua 
promissis, pectore magno, armis vastis,^ capaci et 
tanquam implente utero, lateribus ^ porrectis, lumbis 
latis, dorso recto planoque vel etiam subsidente,' 

1 habitum S : habitu A R. 

* rubios A : rabios S^ : robios S^ : rubeos a. 

* diversa a : versa SAR. 

* grandis SA. ^ vasti SAR. 
« lateribus S^R : latibus S'^A. 

' susidente S^ : subidente S^AR. 

" His work on agriculture was translated into Latin by order 
of the senate (I. 1. 13 ; Varro R.R. I. 1. 10 : Cicero, Or. I. 68, 


BOOK VI. I. 1-3 

I. I should find it far from easy to say what are Points to 
the points to be looked for and what to be avoided for in oxen, 
in the purchase of oxen ; for cattle show variation 
in bodily form and disposition and the colour of 
their hair according to the nature of the district and 
climate in which they live. Those of Asia and of 
Gaul and of Epirus are different in form, and not 
only are there diversities in the various provinces, 
but Italy itself shows varieties in its different parts, 
Campania generally produces small, white oxen, 
which are, however, well suited for their work and for 
the cultivation of their native soil. Umbria breeds 2 
huge white oxen, but it also produces red oxen, 
esteemed not less for their spirit than for their bodily 
strength. Etruria and Latium breed oxen which 
are thick-set but powerful as workers. The oxen 
bred in the Apennines are very tough and able to 
endure every kind of hardship but not comely to 
look upon. Though there is so much variety and 
diversity, yet there are certain as it were universal 
and fixed principles which the farmer of arable land 
ought to follow in buying bullocks. Mago" the 
Carthaginian has laid down these principles in the 
form which we will now detail. The bullocks which 3 
should be purchased are those which are young, 
squarely built, with large limbs and horns which are 
long and blackish and strong ; the forehead should 
be wide and covered with curly hair, the ears shaggy, 
the eyes and lips dark in colour, the nostrils bent 
back and wide spreading, the neck long and muscular, 
the dewlap ample and falling almost to the knees, 
the chest broad, the shoulders huge ; the belly should 
be capacious and have the appearance of pregnancy, 
the flanks extended, the loins wide, the back straight 



clunibus rotundis, cruribus compactis ac rectis, sed 
brevioribus potius quam longis, nee genibus impro- 
bis, ungulis ^ magnis, eaudis longissimis et setosis, 
pilo totius 2 corporis denso brevique, coloris rubii 
vel fusci, tactu corporis mollissimo. 

II. Talis notae vitulos oportet, cum adhuc teneri 
sunt, eonsuescere manu tractari, ad praesepia religari, 
ut exiguus in domitura labor eorum et minus sit 
periculi. Verum nee ante tertium neque post quin- 
tum annum iuvencos domari placet, quoniam ilia aetas 
adhuc tenera est, haec iam praedura. Eos autem, 
qui de grege feri comprehenduntur, sic subigi con- 

2 venit. Primum omnium spatiosum stabulum prae- 
paretur, ubi domitor facile versari, et unde egredi 
sine periculo possit. Ante stabulum nullae angustiae 
sint, sed aut campus aut via late patens, ut cum 
producentur ^ iuvenci, liberum habeant excursum ; 
ne pavidi aut arboribus aut obiacenti cuilibet rei se 

3 implicent * noxamque capiant. In stabulo sint 
ampla praesepia, superque transversi asseres in 
modum iugorum a terra septem pedibus elati con- 
figantur, ad quos religari possint iuvenci. Diem 
deinde, quo domituram auspiceris, bonum a tempesta- 
tibus et a religionibus matutinum eligito, canna- 

4 binisque funibus cornua iuvencorum ligato. Sed 
laquei, quibus capulantur, lanatis pellibus involuti 
sint, ne tenerae frontes ^ sub cornua laedantur. 

^ ungulis S : vinculis Aa. 

* pilo totius Pontedera ex cit. Palladii : pilosius SA. 

* producentur SA'a : producerentur A^Jt. 

* implicent Sa : impluent c : inplicent AS' : inplicet <S'. 
' tenere frontet S^A^ : frontes S' : tenera fronte R. 


BOOK VI. I. 3-II. 4 

and flat or even sinking slightly, the buttocks round, 
the legs compact and straight but short rather than 
long and the knees not ill-shaped, the hoofs large, 
the tail very long and bristly, the hair all over the 
body thick and short and of a red or brindle colour 
and the body very soft to the touch. 

II. Calves of such a strain, you must accustom, How to 
while they are still young, to allow themselves *™° °^*°' 
to be handled and fastened to their mangers, 
so that there may be little trouble and less 
danger in breaking them in. The general opinion 
is that bullocks should not be broken in before their 
third or after their fifth year, since the former age is 
as yet too tender and the latter too hard. Those 
which are taken wild from the herd ought to be 
tamed in the following manner. First of all a 2 
spacious shed should be got ready, where the trainer 
may be able to move about easily and from which he 
can withdraw without danger. There should be no 
narrow spaces in front of the shed but either open 
country or a wide road, so that, when the bullocks 
are driven forth, they may have room to escape and 
that they may not, in their alarm, become entangled 
in trees or anything else which gets in their way and 
hurt themselves. In the shed there should be 3 
roomy stalls, and overhead horizontal beams should 
be fixed shaped like yokes, raised seven feet above 
the ground to which the bullocks can be tied. Then, 
to inaugurate the training, choose the morning of a 
day which is free from storms and not the occasion 
of any religious ceremony and fasten the horns of 
the bullocks with hempen cords. The nooses with 4 
which they are cqiught should be wrapped round with 
woolly skins, so that the tender part of the forehead 



Cum deinde buculos comprehenderis, perducito ad 
stabulum, et ad stipites religato ita, ut exiguum 
laxamenti habeant, distentque inter se aliquanto 
spatio, ne in colluctatione alter alteri noceat. Si 
nimis asperi erunt, patere unum diem noctemque 
desaeviant. Simulatque iras contuderint,^ mane 
producantur, ita ut et a tergo complures, qui se- 
quuntur, retinaculis eos contineant, et unus cum 
clava salignea procedens modicis ictibus subinde 
impetus eorum coerceat. 

6 Sin autem placidi et quieti boves erunt, vel eodem 
die, quo alligaveris, ante vesperum licebit producere, 
et docere per mille passus composite ^ ac sine pavore 
ambulare : cum domum reduxeris,^ arete ad stipites 
religato, ita ne capite moveri possint. Tum demum 
ad alligatos boves neque a posteriore parte neque a 
atere, sed adversus, placide et cum quadam vocis 
adulatione venito, ut accedentem consuescant aspi- 
cere, Deinde nares perfricato, ut hominem discant 

6 odorari. Mox etiam convenit tota tergora et tractare 
et respergere mero, quo familiariores bubulco fiant : 
uteris quoque et sub femina manum subicere, ne ad 
eius modi tactum postmodum pavescant, et ut ricini * 

^ contulerint SA. 

* composite R : conposita SA. 
' preduxeris S^ : pro- AR. 

* riclini SA. 


BOOK VI. n. 4-6 

below the horns may not be injured. Then when you 
have captured the steers, you should lead them to 
the shed and attach them to the posts in such a way 
that their ropes give very little play and that they 
are a little distance apart from one another, so that 
they may not hurt each other in their struggles. If 
they are too savage, allow them a day and a night 
to expend their fury, and as soon as the edge of their 
anger is blunted, they should be driven forth early 
in the morning, care being taken that several persons 
follow them behind also and hold them back by their 
tethers while one man, going in front of them with 
a club of willow wood in his hand, from time to time 
restrains their onrush with light blows. 

If, however, the cattle are placid and quiet, it will 5 
be possible for you to drive them out even before the 
evening of the day on which you have tied them up 
and train them to walk for a thousand paces in an 
orderly manner and without fear. When you have 
conducted them home again, you should bind them 
very closely to the posts, so that they cannot move 
their heads. Then is the time to approach the oxen, 
when they are tied, not from behind or from the side 
but from straight in front, quietly and by using a 
soothing tone of voice, in order that they may become 
accustomed to see you approaching them, and next 
rub their noses so that they may learn to know a man 
by his odour. Soon after this it is also a good plan 6 
both to stroke their hides all over and to sprinkle 
them with unmixed wine, so that they may become 
on more familiar terms with their oxherd ; it is well 
also to put the hand on the belly and under the 
thighs, so that they may not be alarmed if they are 
touched in this way afterwards, and also so that 




qui plerumque feminibus inhaerent, eximantur. 
Idque cum fit, a latere domitor stare debet, ne calce 

7 contingi possit. Post haec diductis malis educito 
linguam, totumque os et ^ palatum sale defricato, 
libralesque oiFas in praesulsae adipis liquamine tinctas 
in gulam^ demittito, ac vini singulos sextarios per 
cornu faucibus infundito : nam per haec blandimenta 
triduo fere mansuescunt, iugumque quarto die 
accipiunt, cui ramus illigatus temonis vice traicitur : 
interdum et pondus aliquod iniungitur, ut maiore nisu 

8 laboris exploretur patientia. Post eiusmodi experi- 
menta vacuo plaustrum subiungendi, et paulatim 
longius cum oneribus producendi sunt. Sic perdomiti 
mox ad aratrum instituantur, sed in subacto agro, ne 
statim difficultatem operis reformident, neve adhuc 
tenera colla dura proscissione terrae contundant.^ 
Quemadmodum autem bubulcus in arando bovem 
instituat, primo praecepi volumine. Curandum ^ ne 
in domitura bos calce aut cornu quemquam contingat. 
Nam nisi haec caventur, nunquam eiusmodi vitia 
quamvis subacto ^ eximi poterunt. 

9 Verum ista sic agenda praecipimus, si veteranum ^ 
pecus non aderit ; alioqui ' expeditior tutiorque ratio 

^ OS et Lundstrom ex cit. Palladii : eo sed S : eo sub AE. 

* gulam Palladius : singula 8AR. 
' contundunt Aid. : condant SAR. 

* Curanda SAa : Curandum c. 

* subacta SAR. * veranum SA. 
'' alioqui Lundstrom, : adeoque SAR. 

" Which it must become used to later. 

* These instructions occur in Book II. 2. 22 ff. 


BOOK VI. II. 6-9 

ticks, which generally fasten on the thighs, may be 
removed. In doing this the trainer ought to stand 
at the side, so that the animal may not reach him 
with its hoof. After this you should pull the jaws 7 
apart and draw out the tongue and rub the whole 
mouth and palate with salt and put down the animal's 
throat cakes of a pound's weight of meal moistened 
with well-salted drippings of fat, and pour into their 
jaws a sextarius of wine at a time by means of a 
horn ; for by blandishments of this kind they 
generally become tame in three days and allow 
themselves to be yoked on the fourth day. This 
yoke has the bough of a tree tied to it instead of 
a pole ; " sometimes too a weight is attached, so that 
the capacity of the animal for enduring toil may be 
tested by the greater effort M^hich is involved. 
After experiments of this kind the bullocks should fi 
be yoked to an empty wagon and gradually be 
made to go longer journeys with loads. Soon after 
they have been thus broken in, they should be set to 
draw the plough, but over land already tilled, so that 
they may not be frightened at first by the difficulty 
of their task and that their still tender necks may 
not be bruised by the tough first breaking of the 
ground. I have already in my first book * given 
instructions how the ploughman is to train the ox in 
ploughing. Care must be taken that the ox does not 
strike anyone with his hoof or his horn while he is being 
trained ; for, unless precautions are taken against this, 
it will never be possible to get rid of faults of this 
kind, though the animal has been broken in. 

The method which we are prescribing should be 9 
followed only if no ox is available which has already 
done service ; otherwise the system of training which 



domandi est, quam nos in nostris agris sequimur. 
Nam ubi plaustro aut aratro iuvencum consuescimus, 
ex domitis bubus valentissimum eundemque placidissi- 
mum cum indomito iungimus. Is et procurrentem 

10 retrahit, et cunctantem produeit. Si vero non pigeat 
iugum fabricare, quo tres iungantur, per ^ hanc ma- 
chinationem consequemur, ut etiam contumaces boves 
gravissima opera non recusent. Nam ubi piger iuven- 
cus medius inter duos veteranos iungitur, aratroque 
iniecto terram moliri ^ cogitur, nulla est imperium 
respuendi facultas. Sive enim efFeratus prosilit, 
duorum arbitrio inhibetur : seu consistit, duobus 
gradientibus etiam invitus obsequitur : seu conatur 
decumbere, a valentioribus sublevatus trahitur : 
propter quae undique necessitate contumaciam de- 
ponit, et ad patientiam laboris paucissimis verberibus 

11 Est etiam post domituram mollioris generis bos, 
qui decumbit in sulco : eum non saevitia, sed ratione ^ 
censeo emendandum. Nam qui stimulis aut ignibus 
aliisque tormentis id vitium eximi melius iudicant, 
verae rationis ignari sunt : quoniam pervicax con- 
tumacia plerumque saevientem fatigat. Propter 
quod utilius est citra * corporis vexationem fame 
potius et siti cubitorem bovem emendare. Nam eum 
vehementius afficiunt naturalia desideria, quam 

^ per add. Lundstrom. 

* terra molli codd. 

' rationem SA : sed ratione ac. 

* citra S : circa AR. 



we follow on our own farm is more expeditious and 
safer. For when we are accustoming the young 
bullock to the wagon or plough, we yoke with the un- 
trained animal the strongest and at the same time 
quietest of the trained oxen, which both keeps it 
back if it rushes forward and makes it advance if it 
lags behind. Indeed, if we have no objection to 10 
constructing a yoke to which three animals can be 
fastened, we shall by this device achieve the result 
that even obstinate oxen do not refuse the heaviest 
tasks. For when an idle bullock is yoked between 
two veteran oxen and forced to till the ground with 
the plough which is put upon them, he has no 
opportunity of refusing to obey the order which has 
been given him ; for, if he has become savage and 
rushes forward, he is checked by the controlling power 
of the other two ; or, if he stands still when the other 
two pace along, he also follows even against his will ; 
or, if he tries to lie down, he is upheld and dragged 
along by his more powerful companions. Hence he 
is forced from all sides to lay aside his obstinacy, and 
it takes very few blows to induce him to submit to 
hard work. 

There is also an ox of a softer kind after it has been 11 
broken in, which lies down in the furrow ; in my 
opinion he should be made to mend his ways by 
reasoning rather than by cruelty. Those who think 
that the vice is better eradicated by means of goads, 
fire or other forms of torture, do not know how to 
reason aright ; for the animal's stubborn obstinacy 
usually wears out the angry ploughman. Hence it 
is more expedient to cure the ox which has the habit 
of lying down by hunger and thirst without having 
recourse to doing it bodily hurt ; for its natural desires 



12 plagae. Itaque si bos decubuit, utilissimum est 
pedes eius sic cingulis ^ obligari, ne aut insistere aut 
progredi aut pasci possit. Quo facto inedia et siti ^ 
compulsus deponit ignaviam ; quae tamen rarissima ^ 
est in pecore vernaculo : longeque omnis bos indigena 
melior est quam peregrinus. Nam neque aquae nee 
pabuli nee caeli mutatione * tentatur, neque infesta- 
tur conditione regionis, sicut ille, qui ex planis et 
campestribus locis in montana et aspera perductus 

13 est, vel ex nnontanis in campestria. . Itaque etiam, 
cum^ cogioiur ex longinquo boves arcessere, curan- 
dum est, ut in similia patriis locis traducantur. Item 
custodiendum est, ne in comparatione vel statura vel 
viribus impar cum valentiore iungatur. Nam utra- 
que res inferiori celeriter afFert exitum. 

14 Mores huius pecudis probabiles habentur, qui sunt 
propiores placidis quam concitatis, sed non inertes : 
qui sunt verentes plagarum et acclamationum, sed 
fiducia virium nee auditu nee visu pavidi, nee ad in- 
gredienda flumina aut pontes formidolosi, multi cibi 
edaces, verum in eo conficiendo lenti. Nam hi me- 
lius concoquunt, ideoque robora corporum citra 
maciem conservant, qui ex commodo,^ quam qui 

15 festinanter mandunt. Sed tam vitium est bubulci 
pinguem quam exilem bovem reddere : habilis enim 
et modica corporatura pecoris operarii debet esse, 

^ singulis SA^R. 

2 siti B : sitis SA. 

^ quam et amarissima S : qua et amarissima AR. 

* mutationem SA : mutatione c. 
« cui 8AR. 

* commodo S : commoda AR. 

BOOK VI. II. 11-15 

affect it more deeply than blows. So, if an ox has 12 
lain down, the best plan is for its feet to be fastened 
together with straps in such a way that it can neither 
stand up nor walk nor feed. As a result, under the 
compulsion of starvation and thirst, it lays aside its 
sloth, which, however, is very rarely found amongst 
our home-grown cattle. Indeed a native ox is far 
superior to one which comes from elsewhere ; for 
it is not disturbed by change of water or food or 
climate and is not troubled by the local conditions, 
as an ox would be which has been brought from flat 
plain-lands to a rough mountainous countiy or vice 
versa. When, therefore, we are obliged to bring oxen 13 
from a distance, care must be taken that they are 
transferred to country which resembles that in which 
they were born. You must also be on your guard 
when pairing oxen together not to yoke one which 
is inferior in height or strength with one which is 
more powerful ; for either of these circumstances 
quickly proves fatal to the weaker of the two. 

Characteristics which are esteemed in oxen are 14 
possessed by those which are placid rather than 
excitable and at the same time not lazy, and which 
are afraid of blows or shouts, but, being confident in 
their own strength, are not alarmed by anything 
which they hear or see, and which are not nervous at 
having to cross rivers or bridges, and which can eat 
plenty of food but are slow in finishing it ; for leisurely 
chewers digest better and therefore preserve their 
bodily strength without becoming thin better than 
those which eat their food hurriedly. But it is quite 15 
as much a fault in an oxherd to make his oxen fat as 
to make them thin ; for the bodily form of a working 
ox ought to be active and moderate in bulk, with 



nervisque et musculis robusta, non adipibus obesa, ut 
nee sui tergoris mole nee labore operis degravetur. 
Sed quoniam quae sequenda sunt in emendis do- 
mandisque bubus tradidimus, tutelam eorum prae- 

III. Boves calore sub divo,^ frigoribus intra tectum, 
manere oportet. Itaque hibernae stabulationi ^ 
eorum praeparanda sunt stramenta, quae mense 
Augusto intra dies triginta sublatae messis ^ prae- 
cisa ^ in acervum extrui debent. Horum desectio 
cum pecori tum agro est utilis : liberantur arva 
sentibus, qui aestivo ^ tempore per Caniculae ortum 
recisi plerumque radicitus intereunt, et stramenta 
pecori ^ subiecta plurimum stercoris efficiunt. 

Haec cum ita curaverimus, tum et omne genus 
pabuli praeparabimus, dabimusque operam, ne 
penuria cibi macrescat pecus. Boves autem recte 
pascendi non una ratio est. Nam si ubertas regionis 
viride pabulum subministrat nemo dubitat quin id 
genus cibi ceteris praeponendum sit : quod tamen 
nisi riguis aut roscidis locis non contingit, Itaque 
in iis ipsis vel maximum commodum est, quod sufficit 
una opera duobus iugis, quae eodem die alterna 
temporum vice vel arant vel pascuntur. Siccioribus 
agris ad praesepia boves alendi sunt, quibus pro 
conditione regionum cibi praebentur: eosque nemo 
dubitat, quin optimi sint ' vicia ^ in fascem ligata, et 

1 divoi?: dioSA": dm A^. 

2 stabulationi Aid. : stabulati S : stabulatio AR. 

* messis a : mensis 8AR. 

* precisas SAR. 

* quaestivo A : qui aestivo A^ : quostivo S. 
' stramenta pecori Ursinus : stramentis pecoris SAR. 

^ sunt AR : sint 8. 
* vitia 8A : vicia c. 


BOOK VI. 11. 15-111. 3 

strong sinews and muscles and not encumbered by- 
fat, so that it may not be wearied either by the 
weight of its own body or by the exertion necessary 
for its work. But since we have now set down the 
principles which must be followed in buying oxen 
and in breaking them in, we will next give directions 
for the care of them. 

III. Oxen should remain out of doors when it is The care 
warm and under cover when it is cold ; therefore, for o?oxra^'"* 
their winter stabling, straw must be prepared, which 
ought to be cut and heaped up in stacks in August with- 
in thirty days of the gathering of the harvest. The 
cutting of the straw is beneficial both to the cattle 
and to the ground ; for the fields are thus freed from 
briers, which, if they are cut back in the summer at 
the time of the rising of the Dogstar, usually die off 
at the roots, and also, if straw is put down as litter 
for the cattle, it produces a very large quantity of 

When we have arranged for this, we shall make 
provision also for every kind of fodder and ensure 
that the cattle will not be thin for want of food. 2 
There is more than one system of feeding cattle 
properly. If the fertility of the district supplies 
green fodder, there is no doubt that this kind of food 
is to be preferred to all others ; but this is only to be 
found in well-watered or dewy places. In these 
circumstances there is the very great advantage 
that one farm-labourer is enough to look after two 
yoke of oxen, which on the same day either plough 
or graze alternately. On drier farms the oxen 3 
must be fed at their stalls, the fodder provided 
varying according to the nature of the district. 
There can be no doubt that the best foods are vetches 



cicercula itemque pratense faenum. Minus com- 
mode tuemur armenta ^ paleis, quae ubique et qui- 
busdam regionibus solae praesidio sunt. Eae ^ pro- 
bantur maxime ex milio, tum ex hordeo, mox etiam ex 
tritico. Sed iumentis iusta operum reddentibus 
hordeum praeter has praebetur. 

Bubus autem pro temporibus anni pabula dis- 
pensantur. lanuario mense singulis fresi et aqua 
macerati ervi quaternos sextarios mixtos paleis dare 
convenit, vel lupini macerati modios, vel cicerculae 
maceratae semodios, et super haec afFatim paleas.^ 
Licet etiam, si est leguminum inopia, et eluta et 
siccata vinacia, quae de lora eximuntur, cum paleis 
miscere. Nee dubium quin ea longe melius cum suis 
foUiculis, ante quam eluantur, praeberi possint. 
Nam et cibi et vini vires habent, nitidumque et hilare 
et corpulentum pecus faciunt. Si grano abstinemus, 
frondis aridae corbis pabulatorius * modiorum viginti 
sufficit, vel faeni pondo triginta, vel sine modo viridis 
laurea et ilignea frondes. Et his, si regionis vis ^ per- 
mittit, glans adicitur : quae nisi ad satietatem detur, 
scabiem parit. Potest etiam si proventus ^ vilita- 
tem' facit, semodius fabae fresae praeberi. Mense 
Februario plerumque eadem sunt cibaria. Martio et 
Aprili debet ad faeni pondus adici, qua terra pro- 
scinditur : sat autem erit pondo quadragena singulis 
dari. Ab idibus tamen mensis Aprilis usque in idus 

^ armenta S : armento AB. 

^ eae S : ea AR. 

^ paleas S : paleis AR. 

* pabulatoribus SAR. 

* vis om. SAR. 

* proventus S : pro ventu A. 
' vilitatem R : vilitem SA. 

BOOK VI. III. 3-6 

tied up in bundles and chickpea and also meadow- 
hay. We are not looking after our cattle so well if 
we feed them on chaff, which is a universal, and in 
some districts the only, resource. The chaff which 
is most highly esteemed comes from millet, the next 
best from barley, and the third best from wheat ; 
beasts of burden which are rendering regular terms 
of labour are given barley as well as chaff. 

The diet of oxen is regulated according to the time 
of year. In January it is a good plan to give them 
four sextarii each of bitter-vetch crushed and soaked 
in water and mixed with chaff, or a modius of soaked 
lupines, or half a. modius of soaked chickling-pea, as well 
as chaff in abundance. If there is a lack of pulse, 
it is allowable to mix with chaff grape skins taken 
from the after-wine which have been washed and 
dried, but there is no doubt that it is far better to 
give them the grapemash, skins and all, before they 
have been washed, for they contain the strength 
both of food and of wine and make the cattle sleek 
and of good cheer and plump. If we abstain from 
giving them grain, it is enough to supply a fodder- 
basket holding twenty modii of dry leaves or thirty 
pounds of hay, or green bay-leaves or the foliage of 
the holm-oak in unlimited quantities. To these mast 
is added, if the resources of the district permit, but, 
unless enough is provided to cause satiety, it causes 
the scab. A halt-modius of crushed beans may also 
be provided, if a good crop makes it cheap enough 
to do so. In February the food is usually the same. 
In March and April an addition should be made to 
the weight of hay in places where the ground is being 
broken up for the first time ; forty pounds, however, 
will be enough to give to each animal. From April 



lunias viride pabulum recte secatur : potest etiam in 
calend. lulias frigidioribus locis idem praestari : a 
quo tempore in calend. Novemb. tota aestate et 
deinde autumno satientur fronde ; quae tamen non 
ante est utilis, quam cum maturaverit ^ vel imbribus 
vel assiduis roribus : probaturque maxime ulmea, 
post fraxinea, et ab hac populnea. Ultimae sunt 
ilignea et quernea et laurea : sed eae post aestatem 
necessariae deficientibus ceteris. Possunt etiam 
folia ficulnea probe dari, si sit ea copia, aut stringere 
arbores expediat. Ilignea tamen vel melior est 
quernea, sed eius generis, quod spinas non habet; 
nam id quoque, ut iuniperus,^ respuitur a pecore 
propter aculeos. Novembri mense ac Decembi'i per 
sementem quantum appetit bos, tantum praebendum 
est : plerumque tamen sufficiunt singulis modii 
glandis et paleae ad satietatem datae, vel lupini 
macerati modii, vel ervi aqua conspersi sextarii vii 
permixti paleis, vel cicerculae similiter conspersae 
sextarii xii mixti paleis, vel singuli modii vinaceorum, 
si iis, ut supra dixi, large paleae adiciantur; vel si 
nihil horum est, per se faeni pondo quadraginta. 

IV. Sed non proderit cibis ^ satiari pecora, nisi 
omnis adhibeatur * diligentia, ut salubri sint corpore, 
viresque conservent : quae utraque ^ custodiuntur 
large dato per triduum medicamento, quod com- 

^ maturuit SAR. 

^ iunipenis R : -erins S : imperius A. 

^ cibos S : cibns AR. 

* adhibeatur S^ : adhibotur S^ : adiuvotur AR. 

* utroque SAR. 


BOOK VI. HI. 6-iv. I 

13th to June 15th it is proper to cut green forage for 
them ; supply of it can even be continued until July 
1st in cooler regions. From then through the whole 
summer and the following autumn up to November 
1st, they should be given their fill of leaves, which, 
however, are not fit for use until matured either by 
rain or by continual dew. The most highly es- 
teemed is the foliage of the elm, next comes that of 
the ash, and, thirdly, that of the poplar ; the least 7 
satisfactory is that of the holm-oak, the oak and the 
bay-tree, but these may have to be used after the 
summer, if all other kinds fail. It is also proper to 
give them fig-leaves, if there is abundance of them 
or if it is expedient to strip the trees. Holm-oak- 
leaves are better than oak-leaves, but they should 
not be of the kind that has spines, for this is refused 
by cattle because of the prickles, as also are juniper- 
leaves. In November and December, during the 8 
period of sowing, an ox should be given all the food 
which it wants ; but a modius of mast a head is 
generally enough and as much chaff as they can eat, 
or a modius of soaked lupines or seven sextarii of 
bitter-vetch sprinkled with water and mixed with 
chaff, or twelve sextarii of chickpeas similarly 
sprinkled and mixed with chaff, or a modius of grape- 
skins each, provided that, as I have said above, chaff 
is generously added to them ; if none of these foods 
is available, forty pounds of hay should be given by 

IV. It will be no use to give cattle a satisfying i?*" diseases 
diet unless every care is taken that they are healthy their rem- 
in body and that they keep up their strength. Both ®*^'**' 
these objects are secured by administering on three 
consecutive days a generous dose of medicine com- 



ponitur pari pondere triti lupini ^ cupressique, et 
cum aqua nocte una sub divo habetur ; idque quater 
anno fieri debet ultimis temporibus veris, aestatis, 
autumni, hiemis. Saepe etiam languor et nausea 
discutitur, si integrum gallinaceum crudum ovum 
ieiuni faucibus inseras, ac postero die spicas ulpici vel 
alii cum vino conteras, et in naribus infundas : 
neque haec tantum remedia salubritatem faciunt. 
Multi 2 et largo sale miscent pabula ; quidam marru- 
bium deterunt ^ cum oleo et vino ; quidam porri 
fibras, alii grana thuris, alii sabinam herbam rutam- 
que pinsitam * mero diluunt, eaque medicamenta 
potanda praebent. Multi caulibus vitis ^ albae et 
valvulis ervi bubus medentur : nonnulli pellem 
serpentis obtritam cum vino miscent. Est ^ etiam 
remedio cum dulci vino tritum serpyllum, et concisa 
et in aqua macerata scilla. Quae omnes praedictae 
potiones trium heminarum singulis diebus per tri- 
duum datae alvum purgant, depulsisque vitiis re- 
creant vires. Maxime tamen habetur salutaris 
amurca, si tantundem aquae misceas, et ea pecus 
insuescas ; quae protinus dari non potest, sed primo 
cibi asperguntur ; ' deinde exigua portione medicatur 
aqua, mox pari mensura mixta datur ad saturitatem. 

^ lupini a : om. SAB. 

2 multo SAR. 

' deterunt S : dederunt AR. 

* rutamque pinsitam Lundslrom : putaque vinitam SA. 

^ vitibus <S^ : vitia ac. 

« est S : sed AR. 

'' adspergunt SA. 


BOOK VI. IV. 1-4 

pounded of equal weights of the crushed leaves of the 
lupine and of the cypress, which is mixed with water 
and left out of doors for a night. This should be 
done four times a year — at the end of the spring, of 
the summer, of the autumn and of the winter. 
Lassitude and nausea also can often be dispelled if 
you force a whole raw hen's egg down the animal's 
throat when it has eaten nothing ; then on the 
following day you should crush together spikes of 
leek or garlic in wine and pour it into its nostrils. 
Nor are these the only remedies which make for 
health. Many people mix also a generous quantity 
of salt with the fodder ; some grate white hore- 
hound in oil and wine ; some infuse fibres of leek, 
others grains of frankincense, others savin <* and 
crushed rue in unmixed wine and give them these 
medicaments to drink. Many people use the stalks 
of white-vine (bryony) and the shells of bitter-vetch 
as a medicine for oxen ; some crush a snake's skin 
and mix it with wine. Thyme crushed in sweet 
wine and squill cut up and soaked in water are also 
used as remedies. All the above-mentioned potions 
in doses of three heminae given daily for three days 
purge the bowel and renew the animal's strength 
by driving away its maladies. But lees of olive-oil 
are regarded as particularly salutary if you mix 
them with an equal portion of water and accustom 
the cattle to them ; this remedy cannot be ad- 
ministered all at once, but at first is sprinkled on 
the food, next a small portion is infused in the 
water, and then the animal is given as much as 
it can take mixed in equal portions of both 

" A kind of juniper which yields a volatile oil. 


V. Nullo autem tempore et minime aestate utile 
est boves in cursum concitari : nam ea res aut alvum 
movet, aut ^ frequenter ^ febrem. Cavendum quoque 
est, ne ad praesepia sus aut gallina perrepat. Nam 
hoc ^ quod decidit ^ immixtum pabulo, bubus afFert 

Sus aegra pestilentiam facere ^ valet. Quae cum in 
gregem ^ incidit, confestim mutandus ' est caeli status, 
et in plures partes distributo pecore longinquae 
regiones petendae sunt, atque ita segregandi a 
sanis morbidi, ne quis interveniat, qui contagione 
ceteros labefaciat. Itaque cum ablegabuntur, in 
ea loca perducendi sunt, quibus nullum impascitur 
pecus, ne adventu suo etiam illi tabem afferant. 
Evincendi sunt autem quamvis pestiferi morbi, et 
exquisitis remediis propulsandi. Tunc panacis et 
eryngii radices faeniculi seminibus miscendae, et 
cum fricti ^ ac moliti tritici farina candenti aqua con- 
spergendae, eoque medicamine salivandum aegrotum 
pecus. Tunc paribus casiae myrrhaeque et thuris 
ponderibus, ac tantundem sanguinis marinae testu- 
dinis miscetur potio cum vini veteris sextariis tribus, 
et ita per nares infunditur. Sed ipsum medicamen- 
tum ponderis sescunciae divisum portione aequa per 
triduum cum vino dedisse sat erit. Praesens etiam 
remedium cognovimus radiculae, quam pastores con- 
siliginem vocant. Ea in Marsis montibus plurima 
nascitur, omnique pecori maxime est salutaris. Laeva 

^ meta ut SAR. 

* frequenter Lundslrom : frequen {sequ. vac. sp.) SAR. 
' haec S : hoc A : hoc c. 

* desidit SA : decidit ac. 
» facere S^ : face S^AR. 

* grege SAR. ' mutandus jS : mutatus .4i?. 

* fricti S : defruti AR. 


BOOK VI. V. 1-3 

V. At no season of the year and least of all in the Cftusw and 
summer is it beneficial to incite oxen to run ; for this ^J^u*t'1n°' 
either relaxes the bowels or else often gives rise to o^en. 
fever. Care must also be taken that no pig or chicken 
slips into their stalls, for the excrement which falls 
from them, mixed with their food, is fatal to oxen. 
A diseased sow may cause plague. If this falls upon 
a herd, a change of climate must immediately be 
made, and the cattle must be divided up, in a 
number of groups, and sent to distant places and 
those which are infected segregated from the 
healthy, that no infected animal may come into 
contact with the rest and destroy them with the 
contagion. When they are thus isolated, they 2 
have to be taken to places where no herd is pastured, 
so that they may not by their arrival bring the 
plague there also. Diseases, however pestilential, 
must be overcome and expelled by carefully sought- 
out remedies. Sometimes roots of all-heal and sea- 
holly should be mixed with fennel-seeds and, together 
with flour of crushed and ground wheat, should be 
sprinkled with boiling water, and the suffering herd 
given a drench with this medicament. Sometimes a 3 
potion consisting of equal weights of cinnamon, myrrh 
and frankincense and a like quantity of the blood of a 
sea-tortoise is mixed with three sextarii of old wine and 
poured through the animal's nostrils. It will suffice 
to have given the medicine itself divided into equal 
doses of one and a half ounces together with wine for 
three days. We have also found a sovereign remedy 
in the root which the shepherds call consiligo.'^ It 
grows in large quantities in the Marsian mountains 
and is very salutary for all cattle ; it is dug up with 

" Pulmonaria officinalis, lungwort. 



manu effoditur ante solis ortum. Sic enim lecta 
maiorem vim creditur habere. Usus eius traditur 
talis, Aenea fibula pars auriculae latissima circum- 
scribitur, ita ut manante sanguine tanquam O literae 
ductus ^ appareat. Hoc et intrinsecus et ex superiore 
parte auriculae cum factum est, media pars descripti 
orbiculi eadem fibula transuitur, et facto foramini 
praedicta radicula inseritur ; quam cum recens plaga 
comprehendit, ita continet, ut elabi ^ non possit : in 
eam deinde auriculam omnis vis morbi pestilensque 
virus elicitur,^ donee pars, quae fibula circumscripta 
est, demortua excidit, et minimae partis iactura caput 
conservatur. Cornelius Celsus etiam visci folia cum 
vino trita per nares infundere iubet. Haec facienda, 
si-gregatim pecora laborant : ilia deinceps, si singula. 
VI. Cruditatis signa sunt crebri ructus ac ventris 
sonitus, fastidia cibi, nervorum intentio, hebetes oculi. 
Propter quae bos neque ruminat neque lingua se 
deterget. Remedio erunt aquae calidae duo congii, 
et mox triginta brassicae modicae caules cocti et ex 
aceto dati. Sed uno die abstinendum est alio cibo. 
Quidam clausum intra tecta continent, ne pasci 
possit. Turn lentisci oleastrique cacuminum pondo 
IV, et libram * mellis una trita permiscent aquae 

^ littere ductum SA. 

" ealabi SAR. 

3 eligitur S : efficitur A^ : elicit c : elicitur A^a. 

* libra SAB. 

° Anlus Cornelius Celsus, a contemporary of Columella, 
besides his book on medicine which has survived, also wrote 
on agriculture. 


BOOK VI. V. 3-vi. 2 

the left hand before sunrise, for it is believed to have 
greater potency if it is picked in this way. The 4 
following is the traditional manner of using it. A 
line is drawn round the widest part of the ear-lap with 
brazen pin in such a way that a figure resembling the 
letter O appears where the blood flows. When this 
operation has been performed both inside and on the 
upper part of the ear, the middle of the circle which 
has been described is pierced with the same pin and 
the root mentioned above is inserted in the hole thus 
made, and, when the newly made wound has closed 
on it, it holds the root so tightly that it cannot slip out. 
Then all the virulence of the disease and the poison 
of the plague is attracted to this ear, until the part 
round which the line was described by the pin morti- 
fies and comes away. Thus the head is saved by the 
sacrifice of a very small portion of it. Cornelius 5 
Celsus " also recommends the pouring into the 
nostrils of wine in which the leaves of mistletoe have 
been crushed. The latter course must be adopted if 
the cattle are suffering as a herd, the former if in- 
dividual animals are affected. 

VI. Signs of indigestion are frequent eructations. Remedies 
rumblings of the belly, distaste for food, tension of tionln'^^^ 
the sinews and dimness of the sight, with the result cattle. 
that the ox neither ruminates nor cleanses himself 
by licking. The appropriate remedy will be two 
congii of hot water, followed by thirty moderate- 
sized stalks of cabbage cooked and dipped in 
vinegar ; but the animal must abstain from other 
food for one day. Some people keep the animal 2 
shut up indoors, so that it cannot graze ; they then 
mix four pounds of the tops of mastic and wild olive 
crushed up with a pound of honey in a congius of water, 



congio, quam nocte una ^ sub dio habent, atque ita 
faucibus infundunt. Deinde interposita hora ma- 
cerati ervi quattuor libras obiciunt, aliaque potione 
prohibent. Hoc per triduum fieri debet, ut omnis 
causa languoris discutiatur. Nam si neglecta crudi- 
tas est, et inflatio ventris et intestinorum maior dolor 
insequitur,^ qui nee capere cibos sinit, gemitus ex- 
primit, locoque stare non patitur, saepe decumbere, 
et agitare caput, caudamque crebrius agere cogit. 
Manifestum remedium est proximam clunibus partem 
caudae vinculo vehementer obstringere, vinique 
sextarium cum olei hemina faucibus infundere atque 
ita citatum per mille et quingentos passus agere. 
Si dolor permanet, ungulas circumsecare, et uncta ^ 
manu per anum inserta fimum extrahere, rursusque 
agere currentem. Si nee hoc profuit, tres caprifici 
aridi conteruntur, et cum dodrante aquae calidae 
dantur. Ubi nee haec medicina processit, myrti 
silvestris foliorum duae librae laevigantur, totidem- 
que sextarii calidae aquae mixti per vas ligneum 
faucibus infunduntur. Atque ita sub cauda sanguis 
emittitur. Qui cum satis profluxit, inhibetur papyri 
ligamine. Tum concitate agitur pecus eousque dum 
anhelet. Sunt et ante detractionem sanguinis ilia 
remedia : tribus heminis vini triens * pinsiti alii ^ 
permiscetur, et post eam potionem currere cogitur, 
vel salis sextans cum cepis decem conteritur, et ad- 

^ nocte unam SA : noctem unam £. 

* dolor sequitur (S^ : dolori eequitur iS^^iZ. 
' cuncta SAE, 

* triens Svennung : tribus SAR. 

* pinsiti alii ed. pr. : pinsitiali SAB. 

BOOK VI. VI. 2-5 

which they keep for one night in the open air, and 
then pour it down the animal's throat. Then after 
an interval of an hour they put before it four pounds 
of soaked bitter-vetch and keep it away from any 
other drink. This should be continued for three days, 
so that every cause of lassitude is dissipated. If 
indigestion is neglected, inflation of the belly and 
more severe pain in the intestines follow, which does 
not allow the animal to take its food, causes it to 
bellow, does not suffer it to remain in one place, and 
makes it lie down frequently, toss its head and lash 
its tail continuall3^ An obvious remedy is to bind 
down tightly the part of the tail nearest to the 
haunches and to pour down its throat a sextarius of 
wine and a hemina of oil and then drive it for a mile 
and a half at a quick pace. If the pain persists, you 
should cut the hoof all round, draw off the excrement 
by greasing the hand and inserting it into the anus, 
and again drive the animal at a running pace. If this 
also has done no good, three dried wild figs are crushed 
and administered with a dodrans of hot water. If 
this remedy has also been unsuccessful, two pounds 
of the leaves of wild myrtle are pulverized and 
mixed with the same number of sextarii of hot water 
and poured down the throat by means of a wooden 
vessel; then the animal is bled under the tail and, 
when enough blood has flowed, it is checked by a 
bandage of papyrus ; then the animal is driven at a 
quick speed until it is out of breath. The following 
remedies are applied before drawing off any blood : 
a triens of pounded garlic is mixed with three heminae 
of wine, and, after drinking this, the animal is com- 
pelled to run ; or else a sextans of salt is pounded up 
with ten onions, and after being mixed with boiled- 



mixto melle dococto collyria immittuntur alvo,^ atque 
ita citatus bos agitur. 

VII. Ventris quoque et intestinorum dolor sedatur 
visu nantium et maxime anatis. Quam si con- 
spexerit, cui intestinum dolet, celeriter tormento 
liberatur. Eadem anas maiore profectu mulos ^ et 
equinum genus conspectu suo sanat. Sed interdum 
nulla prodest medicina. Sequitur torminum ^ vi- 
tium, quorum signum est cruenta et mucosa ventris 
proluvies. Remedio sunt cupressini quindecim coni, 
totidemque gallae, et utrorumque ■* ponderis vetustis- 
simus caseus.^ Quibus in unum tunsis admiscentur 
austeri vini quattuor sextarii, qui pari mensura per 
quatriduum dispensati dantur : nee desint lentisci 
myrtique ^ et oleastri cacumina. Viridis alvus ' corpus 
ac vires carpit, operique inutilem reddit. Quae cum 
accident, prohibendus erit bos potione per triduum, 
primoque die cibo abstinendus. Sed mox cacumina 
oleastri et arundinis, item baccae lentisci myrtique ^ 
dandae ; nee potestas aquae nisi quam parcissime 
facienda est. Sunt qui tenerorum lauri foliorum 
libram ^ et abrotonum ceraticum,^" pari portione de- 
terant ^^ cum aquae calidae duobus sextariis, atque ita 
faucibus infundant, eademque pabula, ut supra dixi- 
mus, obiciant. Quidam vinaceorum duas libras torrc- 

1 albo SAR. 

2 mulos B : mulus SA . 

^ terminum S : minu A : minus B. 

* utrorumque S : vivorumque AB. 
^ caseus *S : caeses A : ceses B. 

* myrtiq; cd. pr.: murtisq ; *S^a. ' albos 5^J?. 

* myrti ed. f>r. : multi SAB. 

* tenerorum lauri foliorum libram scrifsi : teneram laurum 
coloni libram SAR. 

^^ ceraticum SAB : cepaticum Lundstrom. 
^^ deterant 5 : dederant^fl. 

BOOK VI. VI. 5-vn. 4 

down honey is introduced as a suppository into the 
bowel and the ox is driven at a quick pace. 

VII. Pain in the belly and intestines is assuaged Remedy for 
by the sight of swimming birds, especially a duck. p"ahS^ra 
If an ox which has a pain in its intestines sees a o^en. 
duck, it is quickly delivered from its torment. The 
sight of a duck is also even more successful in curing 
mules and the race of horses. Sometimes, however, 
no remedy is of any avail and colic follows, the sign 
of which is a flux of blood and mucous matter from 
the belly. The cure for this consists of fifteen 2 
cypress-cones and the same number of oak-apples 
and very old cheese equal in weight to the other two 
ingredients. When these have been pounded up 
together, four sextarii of rough wine are mixed with 
them, and the mixture is administered in equal doses 
for four days ; nor should tops of mastic and myrtle 
and wild olive be lacking. Diarrhoea " wastes the 
body and the strength and renders an animal useless 
for work. When this happens, the ox will have to be 
kept from drinking for two days and on the first day 
must be kept from eating ; but soon thereafter tops of 3 
wild olive and of reeds must be given, also berries of 
mastic and myrtle, but no opportunity of drinking 
water must be allowed except as sparingly as possible. 
Some people crush a pound of tender leaves of bay 
and the same quantity of horned southernwood ^ in 
two sextarii of hot water and pour it down the 
animal's throat and put before it the same food as I 
mentioned above. Some people heat two pounds of 4 

<" That viridis agrees with alvus ( ' ' green bowel ' ' ) and does not 
belong to the previous sentence is clear from Vegetius, who 
writes, si venter coeperit flttere viridis (quoted by Schneider). 

' Probably Artemisia ahrotonum. 



faciunt, et ita conterunt cum totidem sextariis vini 
austeri, potandumque medicamentum praebent, 
omni alio humore subtracto,^ nee minus eacumina 
praedictarum arborum obieiunt. Quod si neque 
ventris restiterit ^ citata proluvies, neque intesti- 
norum ac ventris dolor, cibosque respuet, et prae- 
gravato capite saepius coniverit,^ lacrimaeque ab 
oculis et pituita a naribus profluent, usque ad ossa 
frons media uratur, auresque ferro descindantur.* 
Sed vulnera facta igne dum ^ sanescunt, defricare 
bubula urina convenit ; at ferro rescissa melius pice 
et oleo curantur. 

VIII. Solent etiam fastidia ciborum afFerre vitiosa 
incrementa linguae, quas ranas veterinarii vocant. 
Haec ferro reciduntur, et sale cum alio pariter trite 
vulnera defricantur, donee lacessita pituita profluat.' 
Tum vino perluitur os, et interposito unius horae 
spatio virides herbae vel frondes dantur, dum facta 
ulcera cicatrices ducant. Si neque ranae fuerint, 
neque alvus citata, et nihilo minus cibos non appetet, 
proderit alium pinsitum cum oleo per nares in- 
fundere, vel sale et cunila defricare fauces, vel 
eandem partem alio tunso et alecula linire. Sed 
haec si solum fastidium est. 

' omni alio humore subtracto Svennung ex cit. PaUadii : 
omnia in umores supra dixi SA. 

* restiterit edd. : eriserit S : crescerit AR. 
' coniverit Svennung: consuevit SAB. 

* decidantur SA. 

* indu S : interdum AR. 


BOOK VI. VII. 4-vin. 2 

grape-skins and crush them in two sextarii of rough 
wine and then give them to be drunk as a medicine, 
keeping any other hquid away from them, but 
nevertheless putting before them the tops of the 
trees mentioned above. But if neither the violent 
flux from the belly nor the pain in the intestine 
and stomach has ceased and the animal refuses his 
food, and its head is very heavy and it frequently 
blinks and tears flow from its eyes and slime from its 
nostrils, the middle of its forehead should be burnt 
down to the bone and its ears cleft with a knife. It 
is in fact a good plan to rub with ox-urine the wounds 
caused by the fire while they are healing ; but those 
which are due to cuts with the knife are better treated 
with pitch and oil. 

VIII. Aversion to food is often caused by morbid Treatment 
swellings of the tongue which veterinary surgeons (on^eln" 
call " frogs." They are cut back with a knife and the o^en. 
wounds rubbed with salt and garlic crushed together 
in equal quantities, until a viscous discharge thus 
provoked flows forth. The mouth is then washed 
out with wine and after the interval of one hour a 
diet of green herbs or leaves is administered until 
the sores which had formed are scarred over. If no 2 
" frogs " have formed and the bowel is not dis- 
turbed but nevertheless the animal has no appetite 
for its food, it will be beneficial to pour a mixture of 
pounded garlic and oil through its nostrils or to rub 
the throat with salt and marjoram, or to smear the 
same part with crushed garlic and fish-sauce. But 
this remedy should be used if aversion to food is the 
only symptom. 

* proluat S. 



IX. Febricitanti bovi convenit abstineri cibo uno 
die, postero deinde exiguum sanguinem ieiuno sub 
Cauda emitti, atque interposita hora modicae magni- 
tudinis coctos brassicae coliculos triginta ex oleo et 
garo ^ salivati more demitti, eamque escam per 
quinque dies ieiuno dari. Praeterea cacumina lentisci 
aut oleae, vel tenerrimam quamque frondem, ac 
pampinos vitis obici ; turn etiam spongia labra deter- 
geri, et aquam frigidam ter die praeberi potandam. 
Quae medicina sub tecto fieri debet, nee ante sani- 
tatem bos emitti. Signa febricitantis manantes 
lacrimae, gravatum caput, oculi compressi, fluidum 
salivis OS, longior et cum quodam impedimento 
tractus spiritus, interdum et cum gemitu. 

X. Recens tussis optime salivato farinae hordeaceae 
discutitur. Interdum magis prosunt gramina con- 
cisa, et his admixta fresa faba. Lentis quoque 
valvulis exemptae et minute molitae miscentur aquae 
calidae sextarii duo, factaque sorbitio per cornu 
infunditur. Veterem tussim sanant duae librae 
hyssopi macerati sextariis aquae tribus. Nam id 
medicamentum teritur, et cum lentis minute, ut 
dixi, molitae sextariis quattuor more salivati datur, ac 
postea aqua hyssopi per cornu infunditur. Porri 

^ garo ed. pr. : caro SAR. 

BOOK VI. IX. i-x. 2 

IX. When an ox suffers from fever, it is a good plan fever in 
that it should go without food for a day, and that on 

the following day a little blood should be drawn off 
under the tail before it eats anything, and that after 
an interval of an hour it should be made to swallow 
thirty cooked stalks of cabbage of moderate size 
which have been dipped in oil and pickled fish in 
the manner of drench. This food should be 
given for five days on an empty stomach. Further- 
more, tops of mastic or olive or any other very 
tender foliage and vine-shoots should be placed before 
it, also its lips should be wiped with a sponge and 
cold water given it to drink three times a day. This 2 
treatment should be carried out under cover and the 
animal should not be allowed to go out until it is 
cured. The symptoms of a state of fever are running 
at the eyes, a heavy head, contracted eyes, a flow 
of saliva from the mouth, an unusually slow and a 
somehow obstructed respiration, accompanied also 
at times by lowing. 

X. A cough, if treated early, is best dispelled by a Coughs of 
medicine which causes salivation made of barley- °^^^' 
flour. Sometimes grass cut up small and crushed 
beans mixed with it are more beneficial; also two 
sextarii of lentils removed from their pods and 
ground up small are mixed with hot water and the 
draught thus formed is poured down the throat 
through a horn. A cough of long standing is cured 

with two pounds of hyssop infused in three sextarii 
of water. Now this medicament is crushed up and 
administered with four sextarii of lentils ground small, 
in the manner I have described, and given to cause 
salivation, and the hyssop-water is afterwards poured 
in through a horn. The juice of a leek together with 2 



enim succus cum ^ oleo, vel ipsa fibra cum hordeacea 
farina contrita remedium ^ est. Eiusdem radices 
diligenter lotae, et cum farre triticeo pinsitae ^ 
ieiunoque datae vetustissimam tussim discutiunt. 
Facit idena pari mensura ervum sine valvulis cum 
torrido * hordeo molitum et salivati more in fauces 

XI. Suppuratio melius ferro rescinditur quam 
medicamento. Expressa deinde sanie sinus ^ ipse, 
qui cam continebat, calida bubula urina eluitur, 
atque ita linamentis pice liquida et oleo imbutis 
colligatur : vel si coUigari ea pars non potest, lamina 
candenti sebum caprinum aut bubulum instillatur. 
Quidam, cum vitiosam partem inusserunt, urina 
vetere humana eluunt,** atque ita acquis pon- 
deribus incocta pice liquida cum vetere axungia 

XII. Sanguis demissus in pedes claudicationem 
afFert. Quod cum accidit, statim ungulam inspicito.'' 
Tactus autem fervorem demonstrat : nee bos vitia- 
tam partem vehementius premi patitur. Sed si 
sanguis adhuc supra ungulas in cruribus est, frictione 
assidua discutitur ; vel, cum ea nihil profuit, scarifica- 
tione emittitur.^ At si iam in ungulis est, inter duos 
ungues cultello leviter aperies.^ Postea linamenta 

^ auccus cum Lundslrom : sucum SA. 

^ remedium (S : remedia ^^ : remedio ^^-K. 

^ pinsite K : pinsita 8 A. 

* torreo SAR. 

* sasinus SAR. 

* partem — eluunt ex cit. Palladii edl. parteminus seruiitur 
inhabeturo hurane luunt S : parte minus seruutur inhaboturae 
rane luunt A. 

' ungula inspicit SAR. 

* homitur SAR : emititur c. 

BOOK VI. X. 2-xn. 2 

oil, or the fibre itself of the leeks crushed up with 
barley-flour, is also used as a cure ; the roots too of 
the same plant carefully washed and pounded up 
with wheaten flour, given to the animal when it is 
fasting, dispel the most inveterate cough. The 
same effect is produced by bitter-vetch without 
its husk pounded up with an equal portion of 
toasted barley and poured down the throat in the 
manner of a drench. 

XL It is better to get rid of suppuration by the Remedies 
surgeon's knife than with medicine. Then, when the t?on!"^^"'^" 
pus has been squeezed out, the sinus itself which 
contained it is washed out with warm ox-urine and 
then bound up with hnen bandages soaked in liquid 
pitch and oil, or, if the part aifected cannot be bound 
up, goat's or ox's tallow is dripped upon it by means 
of a red hot plate of iron. Some people, when they 2 
have cauterized the part affected, wash it with stale 
human urine and then anoint it with raw liquid pitch 
and stale axle-grease in equal quantities. 

XII. Down-flow of blood into the animal's feet Remedy for 
gives rise to lameness. When this happens, the first in"olen? 
thing that you should do is to inspect the hoof; 
merely touching it proves the presence of inflamma- 
tion, and the animal cannot bear any at all violent 
pressure on the affected part. But if the blood is still 
in the legs above the hoofs, it can be dissipated by 
continual friction, or, if that has no effect, it can be 
removed by scarification. Biit if it has already 
reached the hoofs, you will make a slight incision 
with a lancet between the two halves of the hoof; 
then bandages dipped in salt and vinegar are 2 

' aperiet SAR. 


sale atque aceto imbuta^ applicantur, ac solea spartea 
pes induitur,^ maximeque datur opera, ne bos in 
aquam pedem mittat et ut sicce stabuletur. Hie 
idem sanguis nisi emissus fuerit, famicem creabit, 
qui si suppuraverit, tarde percurabitur : primum 
ferro circumcisus et expurgatus, deinde pannis aceto 
et sale et oleo madentibus inculcatis, mox axungia 
vetere et sebo hircino pari pondere decoctis, ad 
sanitatem perducitur. Si sanguis in inferiore parte 
ungulae est, extrema pars ipsius unguis ad vivum 
resecatur, et ita emittitur, ac linamentis pes involutus 
spartea munitur. Mediam ungulam ab inferiore 
parte non expedit aperire, nisi eo loco iam suppuratio 
facta est. Si dolore nervorum claudicat, oleo et sale 
genua poplitesque ^ et crura confricanda sunt, donee 

Si genua intumuerint, calido aceto fovenda sunt, 
et lini semen aut milium detritum conspersumque 
aqua mulsa imponendum : spongiae * quoque fer- 
venti aqua imbutae ^ et expressae * litaeque ' melle 
recte genibus applicantur, ac fasciis circumdantur. 
Quod si tumori subest aliquis humor, fermentum vel 
farina hordeacea ex passo aut aqua mulsa decocta 
imponitur : et cum maturuit suppuratio, rescinditur 
ferro, eaque emissa, ut supra docuimus, linamentis 
curatur. Possunt etiam, ut Cornelius Celsus prae- 

^ imbuta i? : inbuto SA. 

* inducitur SAE. 

* popliteque SA : poplitesque c. 

* sphongia S : spongia E : phongio A. 
^ inbuta SA. 

* expressa SAS. '' litae quae A : lita que S. 

BOOK VI. XII. 2-5 

applied and the foot is covered with a " slipper " of 
broom and the greatest care is taken to prevent the 
ox from putting his foot in water and that it keep 
dry in its stall. This same blood, unless it is drawn 
off, will give rise to a bruise, and, if this suppurates, 
it will take a long time to heal. First a cut must be 
made round it with a knife and it must be cleaned, 
then it is brought to a healthy condition by having 
rags pressed against it soaked in vinegar, salt and 
oil, and afterwards by treatment with stale axle- 
grease and goat's tallow boiled in equal quantity. 
If the blood is in the lower part of the hoof, the 
extremity of the hoof itself is cut to the quick and 
the blood thus discharged, and the foot is wrapped 
in bandages and protected with a " slipper " of 
broom. It is not advisable to open the middle of 
the hoof from below, unless suppuration has already 
taken place in that part. If the lameness is due to 
pain in the sinews, the knees, the ham and the legs 
should be rubbed with oil and salt until it is cured. 

If the knees are swollen, they must be fomented 
with warm vinegar and poulticed with linseed or 
millet which has been ground up and sprinkled with 
honey-water; also sponges soaked in boiling water 
and then wrung out and smeared with honey are 
correctly applied to the knees and wrapped round 
with bandages. But if there is any liquid matter 
under the swelling, some yeast or barley-flour boiled 
in raisin- wine or honey-water is placed upon it ; and 
when the suppuration has come to a head, it is cut 
with the sui'geon's knife, and, when the pus has been 
extracted, it is treated with bandages in the manner 
described above. Incisions made with the knife can 
also be treated, as Cornelius Celsus taught, by means 



cipit, lilii radix aut scilla cum sale, vel sanguinalis 
herba, quam poligonum Graeci appellant, vel mar- 
rubium ferro reclusa sanare. Fere autem omnis 
dolor corporis, si sine vulnere est, recens melius 
fomentis discutitur ; vetus uritur, et supra ustum 
butyrum vel caprina instillatur adeps. 

XIII. Scabies extenuatur trito alio defricta ; ^ 
eodemque remedio curatur rabiosae canis vel lupi 
morsus, qui tamen et ipse imposito vulneri vetere 
salsamento aeque bene sanatur. Et ad scabiem 
praesentior alia medicina est. Cunila bubula,^ et 
sulphur conteruntur, admixtaque amurca cum oleo 
atque ^ aceto incoquuntur ; deinde tepefactis scissum 
alumen tritum spargitur. Id medicamentum can- 
dente ^ sole illitum maxime prodest. Ulceribus 
gallae tritae remedio sunt ; nee minus succus marrubii 
cumi fuligine. 

Est et infesta pestis bubulo pecori, coriaginem 
rustici appellant, cum pellis ita tergori adhaeret, ut 
apprehensa manibus diduci a costis non possit. Ea 
res non aliter accidit,^ quam si bos aut ex languore 
aliquo ad maciem perductus est, aut sudans in opere 
faciendo refrixit, aut si sub onere pluvia madefactus 
est. Quae quoniam perniciosa sunt, custodiendum 
est, ut cum ab opere boves redierint ^ adhuc aestu- 
antes anhelantesque, vino aspergantur, et offae adi- 
pis faucibus eorum inserantur. Quod si praedictum 
vitium inhaeserit, proderit ' decoquere laurum, et ea 

^ defricta S : defricto AR. 

* cunicula bubula S : cuniculabula AR. 

* aqua SAR. 

* cantendente SAR. 

* accedit SA R. 

* rediderint SA : redierint ac. 

'' proderit S-c : prodiderit S^AR. 


BOOK VI. xii. 5-xiii. 3 

of lily-roots or squills mixed with salt, or the staunch- 
ing plant which the Greeks call polygonum,'^ or hore- 
hound. Almost all bodily pains, if there is no wound, 
can in their early stages be better dissipated by 
fomentation ; in the advanced stage they are treated 
by cauterizations and the dropping of burnt butter 
or goat's fat upon the place. 

XIII. The scab is alleviated if it is rubbed with Bemedieg 
bruised garlic, and the same remedy is used for the fj'icera^ltc.^' 
bite of a mad dog or wolf, which, however, is also 
quite as easily cured by placing stale pickled fish 
upon the wound. There is also a still more efficacious 
remedy for the scab ; ox-marjoram and sulphur are 
pounded up together and cooked in lees of olives 
mixed with oil and vinegar ; then, when the mixture is 
hot, split alum is ground up and sprinkled upon it. 
This remedy is most efficacious if it is smeared on when 
the sun is hot. Ground oak-galls are a cure for ulcers, 2 
likewise the juice of horehound together with soot. 

There is also a dangerous plague which affects 
cattle, called by the farmers " hide-binding," when 
the skin adheres so closely to the back that, if it is 
taken hold of with the hands, it cannot be drawn 
away from the ribs. It occurs only when the ox is 
either reduced to a lean condition as the result of some 
illness or has become chilled when sweating in the 
course of its labours, or if it has been drenched by 
rain when it is carrying a load. Since these con- 3 
ditions are dangerous, care must be taken that the 
oxen, when they have returned from work still hot 
and panting, are sprinkled with wine and that balls 
of fat are thrust down their throats. If, however, the 
above-mentioned malady has already taken hold of 

" Knotgrass {Polygonum^ aviculare). 




calda fovere terga, multoque oleo et vino confestim 
subigere, ac per omnes partes apprehendere et 
attrahere pellem.^ Idque optima fit sub dio, sole 
fervente. Quidam faeces vino et adipe commiscent, 
eoque medicamento post fomenta praedicta utuntur. 

XIV. Est etiam ilia gravis pernicies, cum pul- 
mones exulcerantur. Inde tussis et macies, et ad 
ultimum phthisis invadit. Quae ne mortem aiFerant, 
radix consiliginis ita, ut supra docuimus, perforatae 
auriculae inseritur, tum porri succus instar heminae 
pari olei mensurae miscetur, et cum vini sextario 
potandus datur diebus compluribus. Interdum et 
tumor palati cibos respuit, crebrumque suspirium 
facit, et banc speciem praebet, ut bos in latus ^ 
pendere videatur. Ferro palatum prodest ^ et 
sauciare, ut sanguis profluat, et exemptum valvulis 
ervum maceratum, viridemque frondem, vel aliud 
molle pabulum, dum sanetur, praebere. 

Si in opere collum contuderit,^ praesentissimum est 
remedium sanguis de aure emissus : aut si id factum 
non erit, herba, quae vocatur avia,^ cum sale trita et 
imposita. Si cervix mota et deiecta est, conside- 
rabimus quam in partem declinet, et ex diversa 
auricula sanguinem detrahemus. Ea porro vena, 
quae in aure videtur esse amplissima, sarmento prius 

1 pelle 8AR. 

* bos in latus Lundstrom : bos lotus SAR. 
' prodest add. Schneider ex Vegetio iv. 14. 

* contuderit S : contunderit AR. 
' avia Aldus : habia SAR. 


BOOK VI. xiii. 3-xiv. 3 

them, it will be beneficial to make a concoction of 
bay-leaves and foment their backs with it while they 
are still warm and immediately after to massage them 
with a large quantity of oil and wine and to take hold 
of the hide all over the animal and draw it away. 
This is best done in the open air in burning sunshine. 
Some people mix dregs of oil with wine and fat and use 
it as a remedy after the fomentations mentioned above. 

XIV. It is also a serious distemper when the lungs Remedies 
become ulcerated ; it results in coughing and lungsTnd***^ 
emaciation and finally in phthisis. To prevent these swellings of 
conditions from causing death, a root of lungwort, as and^neck^of 
we prescribed above, is inserted in a hole made in the *° °^- 
ear and then about a hemina of the juice of leek is 
mixed with a like quantity of oil and given as a potion 
for several days with a sextarius of wine. Some- 2 
times too a swelling of the palate causes the animal 
to refuse its food and heave frequent sighs, and an 
impression is caused that it is hanging over towards 
one side." It is beneficial also to make a wound in the 
palate with a knife, so that the blood may flow, and 
to administer bitter-vetch without its husk and 
soaked and green leaves or some other soft fodder, 
until the wound heals. 

If in the course of its work the ox has his neck 3 
bruised, the most efficacious remedy is to draw blood 
from the ear, or, if that is not done, the herb called 
groundsel is crushed up with salt and placed on the 
part affected. If the neck is moved in a certain 
direction and hangs down, we shall examine and see 
to which side it declines and draw blood from the ear 
on the other side ; moreover, what appears to be the 
largest vein in the ear is first beaten with a twig, and 
' The text, however, seems to be in need of further correction. 



verberatur. Deinde cum ad ictum intumuit, cultello 
solvitur ; et postero die iterum ex eodem loco sanguis 
emittitur, ac biduo ab opera datur vacatio. Tertio 
deinde die levis iniungitur labor, et paulatim ad iusta 
perducitur. Quod si cervix in neutram partem de- 
iecta est, mediaque intumuit, ex utraque auricula 
sanguis emittitur. Qui cum intra triduum, cum bos 
vitium cepit, emissus non est, intumescit collum, 
nervique tenduntur, et inde nata durities iugum non 
patitur. Tali vitio comperimus aptum ^ esse medi- 
camentum ex pice liquida et bubula medulla et 
hircino sebo et vetere oleo acquis ponderibus com- 
positum atque incoctum. Hac compositione sic 
utendum est. Cum disiungitur ab opere, in ea 
piscina, ex qua bibit, tumor cervicis aqua madefactus 
subigitur, praedictoque medicamento defricatur et 
illinitur. Si ex toto propter cervicis tumorem iugum 
recuset, paucis diebus requies ab opere danda est. 
Tum cervix aqua frigida defricanda, et spuma argenti 
illinenda est. Celsus quidem tumenti cervici her- 
bam, quae vocatur avia, ut supra dixi, contundi et 
imponi iubet. Clavorum, qui fere cervicem infestant, 
minor molestia est : nam facile oleo ^ per ardentem 
lucernam instillato sanantur. Potior tamen ratio 
est custodiendi, ne nascantur,^ neve colla calvescant, 
quae non aliter glabra fiunt, nisi cum sudore aut 
pluvia cervix in opere madefacta est. Itaque cum 

^ aptum ex Vegeiio I.e. : autem SAS. 
^ oleo et sanantur om. SAB. 
* nascantur S : nascatur AB. 


BOOK VI. XIV. 3-7 

then when it has swollen up as a result of the blows, it is 
opened with a lancet, and on the following day blood 
is again drawn from the same spot and the animal is 
given two days' rest from work. Then on the third 
day a light task is enjoined upon it, which is gradually 
increased until it does a full day's work. If, how- 4 
ever, the neck does not incline to either side but is 
swollen in the middle, blood is let from both ears. If 
bleeding is not performed within three days after the 
ox has got the disease, the neck swells up and the 
sinews become taut and as a result a hard lump is 
formed which cannot endure the pressure of the 
yoke. For this kind of malady we have discovered 5 
a suitable remedy composed of liquid pitch, beef- 
marrow, goat's fat, and stale oil in equal quantities 
and cooked together. This compound should be 
used in the following manner : when the ox is un- 
harnessed after its work, the swelling on its neck 
is moistened with water in the trough from which it 
drinks and then massaged and rubbed and smeared 
with the medicament described above. If the animal 6 
absolutely refuses the yoke because of the swelling on 
its neck, it must be given a few days' rest from work ; 
then the neck must be rubbed with cold water and 
anointed with litharge of silver. Celsus indeed recom- 
mends that to a swollen neck the herb called ground- 
sel should, as I have already said, be crushed and 
apphed. The warts which generally infest the neck 
constitute only a minor malady ; for they can easily 
be cured with oil dripped on them from a burning 
lamp. A better plan, however, is to take care that 7 
they do not form and that the necks of the oxen do 
not become bald, for they only become hairless when 
the neck is moistened by sweat or rain during work. 



id accidit, pulveri ^ lateritio trito priusquam disiungan- 
tur, colla conspergi oportet : deinde cum assiccu- 
erint,2 subinde oleo imbui. 

XV. Si talum aut ungulam vomer laeserit, picem 
duram et axungiam cum sulfure et lana succida in- 
volvito^ candente ferro supra vulnus inurito. Quod 
idem remedium optime facit exempta stirpe, si forte 
surculum calcaverit, aut acuta testa vel lapide ungu- 
lam pertuderit * ; quae tamen si altius vulnerata est, 
latius ferro circumciditur, et ita inuritur, ut supra prae- 
cepi : deinde spartea calceata per triduum suffuso 
aceto curatur. Item si vomer crus sauciarit, marina 
lactuca, quam Graeci tithymallum vocant, admixto 
sale imponitur. Subtriti pedes eluuntur calefacta 
bubula urina : deinde fasce ^ sarmentorum incenso, 
cum iam ignis in favillam recidit, ferventi cineri ^ bos 
cogitur insistere, ac pice liquida cum oleo vel axungia 
cornua eius linuntur. Minus tamen claudicabunt 
armenta, si opere disiunctis multa frigida laventur 
pedes; et deinde sufFragines coronaeque ac dis- 
crimen ipsum, quo divisa est bovis ungula, vetere 
axungia defricentur.' 

^ pulveri (pulvere) Richter {Hermes LXXX, 201) : veteri 
prior, edd. 

^ ad siccum erit S : ad siccum erint A. 

* involvito Svennung : involuta SAR. 

* pertulerit SAR. 

5 fasce R : fasces SA. 

* ferveti cineribus A : ferventi cineribus 8R. 
' defricentur S : defricetur AR. 


BOOK VI. XIV. 7-xv. 2 

When this happens, therefore, their necks ought to 
be sprinkled with dust made by grinding brick-work 
before they are unyoked ; then, when their necks have 
dried, they ought to be moistened from time to time 
with oil. 

XV. If the pastern or hoof has been injured by Kemedies 
the ploughshare, wrap round it hard pitch and to'^p^t^^ 
axle-grease, bind it with sulphur and greasy wool ^^^ hoofs. 
and make a burn above the wound with a piece of 
red-hot iron. The same remedy has an excellent 
eifect after the removal of a piece of wood from the 
hoof, if the ox has by chance trodden on a shoot or 
pierced its hoof with a sharp tile or stone. If, how- 
ever, the wound is rather deep, a wider cut is made 
round it with a knife and it is then cauterized accord- 
ing to the method which I have described above ; 
next the hoof is covered with a " slipper " made of 
broom and treated for three days with a suffusion of 
vinegar. Also if an ox has damaged its leg on the 2 
ploughshare, sea-spurge," which the Greeks call 
iithymallus, mixed with salt, is applied to the wound. 
The feet are rubbed underneath and are washed 
with warmed ox-urine ; then a bundle of twigs is 
burnt and when now the fire has sunk to embers, the 
animal is made to stand on the glowing ashes and the 
horny parts of the hoof are anointed with liquid pitch 
mixed with oil or axle-grease. Cattle, however, will 
be less likely to go lame, if their feet are washed 
in plenty of cold water when they are unyoked 
after work, and if their hocks, the crowns of their 
hoofs and the division itself between the two 
halves of the hoofs are rubbed with stale axle- 

* Euphorbia paralius. 



XVI. Saepe etiam vel gravitate longioris itineris/ 
vel cum in proscindendo aut duriori solo aut obviae 
radici obluctatur,^ convellit armos. Quod cum accidit, 
e prioribus cruribus sanguis mittendus est : si 
dextrum armum laesit, in sinistro ; si laevum, in 
dextro; si vehementius utrumque vitiavit, item in 
posterioribus cruribus venae ^ solventur. Praefractis 

2 cornibus linteola sale atque aceto et oleo imbuta 
superponuntur, ligatisque per triduum eadem in- 
funduntur. Quarto demum axungia pari pondere 
cum pice liquida, et cortice pineo levigata * imponi- 
tur. Et ad ultimum cum iam cicatricem ducunt, 
fuligo infricatur. 

Solent etiam neglecta ulcera scatere verminibus: 
qui si mane perfunduntur aqua frigida, rigore con- 
tracti decidunt. Vel si hac ratione non possunt 
eximi, marrubium aut porrum conteritur, et admixto 
sale imponitur. Id celerrime necat praedicta ani- 

3 malia. Sed expurgatis ^ ulceribus confestim adhi- 
benda sunt linamenta cum pice et oleo vetereque 
axungia, et extra vulnera eodem medicamento 
circumlinenda, ne infestentur a muscis, quae ubi 
ulceribus insederunt, vermes creant. 

XVII. Est etiam mortiferus serpentis ictus, est et 
minorum ^ animalium noxium virus. Nam et vipera 
et caecilia saepe cum in pascuo bos improvide super- 

1 itineris om. SAB. 

* obluctatur S : obluctatus AR. 
^ vene S : bene AE. 

* pineo levigata S : pineolo vigata A : pineolo iugata R. 

* expurgatis 8 : -i AR. 

* minorum ex Vegelio : magnorum codd. 


BOOK VI. XVI. i-xvii. I 

XVI. It often happens that an ox wrenches its Hemedies 
shoulders either owing to the weight of its load on a ghouid^re^'* 
somewhat prolonged journey or when, in breaking and dam- 
up the ground, it has to struggle against an un- 
usually hard patch or a root which gets in its way. 

When this happens, blood must be drawn from its 
front legs — from the left leg if it has injured its 
right shoulder and from the right leg if the left 
shoulder is affected. If it has injured both shoulders 
rather seriously, veins will have to be opened in the 
hind legs as well. If the horns are broken, pieces 2 
of linen soaked in salt and vinegar and oil are put 
upon them and the same things poured over them 
for three days after they have been bound up ; next 
on the fourth day axle-grease and Uquid pitch in 
equal portions and pulverized pine-bark are applied, 
and, finally, when they are already beginning to 
scar over, they are rubbed with soot. 

Ulcers, too, if they are neglected, generally swarm 
with worms. If they are drenched in the morning 
\vith cold water, they shrivel up with the cold and 
die. If they cannot be got rid of by this method, 
horehound or leek is pounded up and applied 
with a mixture of salt; this promptly kills these 
creatures. After the ulcers have been cleaned 3 
out, linen bandages must be immediately appUed 
with pitch, oil and stale axle-grease, and the 
wounds must be anointed outside with the same 
medicament, so that they may not become infested 
by flies which, when they settle on the ulcers, breed 

XVII. The bite of a snake is also fatal to oxen, and f^Xtefof 
the poison of certain lesser animals is also hurtful, sn^'kes and 
For an ox while grazing often lies down unawares Limais and 

for diseaseg 
jog of the eye. 


cubuit, lacessita onere morsum imprimit. Musque 
araneus, quern ^ Graeci fxvyaXijv appellant, quamvis 
exiguis dentibus non exiguam pestem molitur. 
Venena viperae depellit super scarificationem ferro 
factam ^ herba, quam vocant personatam,^ trita et 

2 cum sale imposita. Plus etiam eiusdem radix con- 
tusa prodest, vel si montanum trifolium invenitur, 
quod confragosis locis efficacissimum nascitur, odoris 
gravis, neque absimilis bitumini, et idcirco Graeci 
earn aa<^aXTeLov appellant ; nostri autem propter 
figuram vocant acutum trifolium : nam ^ longis et 
hirsutis foliis viret, caulemque robustiorem facit, 

3 quam pratense. Huius herbae succus vino mixtus 
infunditur faucibus, atque ipsa folia cum sale trita 
malagmatis in vicem cedunt.^ Vel si hanc herbam 
viridem tempus anni negat, semina eius collecta et 
levigata cum vino dantur potanda, radicesque cum 
suo caule tritae atque hordeaceae farinae et sali com- 
mixtae ex aqua mulsa scarificationi superponuntur, 

4 Est etiam praesens remedium, si conteras fraxini 
tenera cacumina quinque librarum, cum totidem vini 
et duobus sextariis olei, expressumque ^ succum 
faucibus infundas ; itemque cacumina eiusdem arboris 
cum sale trita laesae parti superponas. 

Caeciliae ' morsus tumorem suppurationemque 
molitur. Idem facit etiam muris aranei. Sed illius 
sanatur noxa subula aenea, si locum laesum com- 

1 quein R : quae S : que A. 

* captam SAR. 

' personatam (cf. Pliny, N.H. XXV. § 104) : persona SAac. 

* non SAR. 

* in vicem cedunt scripsi : vicedunt SA : incendunt R. 

* expressus quae S : expressusque A. 
' celi S : caeli A. 



upon vipers and lizards, which, provoked by its 
weight, inflict a bite upon it. The shrew-mouse, 
which the Greeks call mygale, though its teeth are 
small, gives rise to a malady which is far from being 
slight. A viper's poison can be expelled by scarify- 
ing with a knife the part affected and applying to 
it the herb called burdock, pounded up and mixed 
with salt. The crushed root of the same plant is 2 
even more beneficial, or the mountain trefoil, which 
grows in rugged places and is most efficacious, if it can 
be found ; it has a strong odour like that of bitumen, 
whence the Greeks call it asphalteion, but our country- 
folk call it " sharp trefoil " from its shape, for it 
grows long, hairy leaves and forms a stouter stalk 
than the meadow trefoil. The juice of this herb 3 
mixed with wine is poured down the throat, and the 
leaves themselves are pounded up with salt to form 
a poultice. If the season of the year makes it im- 
possible to obtain this herb in a green state, its seeds 
are collected and pulverized and given with wine as 
a potion, while the roots are pounded up with their 
stalks and mixed with barley-flour and salt and, 
after being dipped in honey-water, are applied to the 
scarified part. A sovereign remedy is also provided 4 
by crushing five pounds of tender tops of ash with 
the same number of sextarii of wine and two of oil 
and by pouring the juice which you have squeezed 
out down the animal's throat. You should also apply 
the tops of the same tree pounded up with salt to the 
part affected. 

The bite of a lizard causes swelling and suppura- 
tion, as also does that of a shrew-mouse, but the 
injury caused by the former is cured if you puncture 
the part affected with a brazen awl and anoint it with 



5 pungas, cretaque cimolia ex aceto linas, Mus 
perniciem, quam intulit, suo corpore luit : nam 
animal ipsum oleo mersum necatur, et cum imputruit, 
conteritur, eoque medicamine morsus muris aranei 
linitur. Vel si id non adest, tumorque ^ ostendit 
iniuriam dentium, cuminum conteritur, eique adici- 
tur exiguum picis liquidae et axungiae, ut lentorem 

6 malagmatis habeat. Id impositum perniciem com- 
movet. Vel si antequam tumor discuteretur, in 
suppurationem convertitur, optimum est ignea 
lamina collectionem ^ resecare, et quicquid vitiosi 
est, inurere, atque ita liquida pice cum oleo linire. 
Solet etiam ipsum animal vivum creta figulari cir- 
cumdari ; quae cum siccata est, colic boum suspendi- 
tur. Ea res innoxium pecus a morsu muris aranei 

7 Oculorum vitia plerumque melle sanantur. Nam 
sive intumuerunt, aqua mulsa ^ triticea farina con- 
spergitur et imponitur: sive album in oculo est, 
montanus sal Hispanus vel Ammoniacus vel etiam 
Cappadocus, minute tritus et immixtus melli vitium 
extenuat. Facit idem trita sepiae testa, et per 
fistulam ter die oculo inspirata. Facit et radix, 
quam Graeci alXcfjiov vocant, vulgus autem nostra 

8 consuetudine * laserpitium appellant. Huius quan- 
tocunque ponderi decem partes salis ammoniaci 
adiciuntur, eaque pariter trita oculo similiter in- 

1 umorque A : umorquae S. 

* collectionem ex Vegetio : convertionem SA. 
' mulsa A^E : miilsae 8. 

* consuetudinem SA : consuetudine ac. 

" Fuller's earth from Cimolus, an island in the Cyclades. 
* From Ammon in the Libyan desert. 



Cimolian chalk <* dipped in vinegar. The shrew- 5 
mouse atones with its own body for the harm which 
it has inflicted ; for the animal itself is killed by being 
drowned in oil, and, when it has putrefied, it is 
crushed and the bite inflicted by the shrew-mouse is 
anointed with it as a remedy. If this is not available 
and the swelling shows teeth-marks, cumin is crushed 
up and a little liquid pitch and axle-grease is added 
to it, so that it may have the soft consistency of a 
poultice. The application of this gets rid of the 6 
mischief. If the swelling turns into a suppuration 
before it is dispersed, it is best to cut away the abscess 
with a hot iron plate and burn away any harmful 
matter and then anoint the place with liquid pitch 
and oil. There is also a practice of encasing the 
shrew-mouse itself while still alive in potter's clay 
and, when the clay is dry, hanging it round the ox's 
neck. This renders the animal immune from the 
bite of a shrew-mouse. 

Maladies of the eyes are generally cured with 7 
honey. If they have swollen up, wheaten flour is 
sprinkled with honey water and applied to the eyes ; 
or, if there is a white film on the eye, Spanish or 
Ammoniac ^ or even Cappadocian rock-salt, pounded 
small and mixed with honey, lessens the malady. 
The shell of a cuttle-fish ground up and blown into 
the eye three times a day through a pipe has the same 
effect, as also has the root which the Greeks call 
silphion and of which the common name in our language 
is laserpitium." To any quantity of this ten parts of 8 
Ammoniac salt are added ; and both are poured simi- 
larly into the eye after being ground up in the same 
manner, or else the root of the same plant crushed up and 

- ^ ' Laserwort, Ferula iingitana. 



funduntur, vel eadem radix tunsa^ et cum oleo 
lentisci inuncta vitium expurgat. Epiphoram sup- 
primit polenta conspersa mulsa aqua, et in supercilia 
genasque imposita ; pastinacae quoque agrestis 
semina, et succus armoraceae, cum melle conlevata 
9 oculorum sedant dolorem. Sed quotiensque mel 
aliusve succus remediis adhibetur, circumlinendus erit 
oculus pice liquida cum oleo, ne a muscis infestetur. 
Nam et ad dulcedinem et odorem ^ mellis aliorumque 
medicamentorum non hae solae, sed et apes advolant. 

XVIII. Magnam etiam perniciem saepe affert 
hirudo hausta cum aqua. Ea adhaerens faucibus 
sanguinem ducit, et incremento suo transitum cibis 
praecludit. Si tam difficili loco est, ut manu trahi 
non possit, fistulam vel arundinem inserito, et ita 
calidum oleum infundito : nam eo contactum animal 

2 confestim decidit. Potest etiam per fistulam deusti 
cimicis nidor immitti : . qui ubi superpositus ^ igni 
fumum emisit, conceptum nidorem fistula usque ad 
hirudinem perfert ; isque nidor depellit haerentem. 
Si tamen vel stomachum vel intestinum tenet, calido 
aceto per cornu infuso necatur. Has medicinas 
quamvis bubus adhibendas praeceperim, posse 
tamen ex eis * plurima etiam omni maiori pecori 
convenire nihil dubium est. 

XIX. Sed et machina fabricanda est, qua clausa 
iumenta bovesque curentur, ut et propior ^ accessus 

^ tunsa S : contunsa A^. 

* oculorum SAB. 

' superpositus S : superponuntur AB. 

* iaS: his AB. 

* proprior SAB. 

BOOK VI. XVII. 8-xix. I 

mixed with oil of mastic is used to anoint the eye and 
purges away the malady. Running at the eyes is 
stopped by pearl-barley sprinkled with honey-water 
and applied to the eyebrows and cheeks ; wild parsnip 
seeds and the juice of the horse-radish diluted with 
smooth honey assuage pain in the eyes. But when- 9 
ever honey or any other juice is introduced into the 
remedies employed, the eye will have to be anointed 
all round with liquid pitch and oil to prevent its being 
infested with flies ; for not only flies but also bees are 
a^^tracted to the sweetness and odour of honey and 
other medicaments. 

XVIII. Much harm too is often caused by a leech Ben>edie« 
swallowed with the drinking-water, which, fastening which hare 
on the throat, sucks the blood and blocks the passage f^c^es!^*^ 
of food with its own added bulk. If the leech 

is in such a difficult place that it cannot be re- 
moved by hand, you should insert a pipe or reed and 
then pour in warm oil ; for if this touches it, the leech 
immediately falls off. The odour from a burnt bug 2 
may also be introduced through a pipe (for when a 
bug is put upon the fire and has produced smoke, 
the vapour given off reaches the leech through a 
pipe) and this vapour dislodges the leech from 
its clinging hold. If, however, it is attached to the 
stomach or intestine, it can be killed by pouring hot 
vinegar through a horn. Though I have prescribed 
these remedies to be used for oxen, most of them are 
certainly suitable also for all the larger kinds of 

XIX. It is necessary also to construct a machine How to 

1 . 1 1 •' , . r ^ 1 -I construct a 

in which one can enclose beasts oi burden and oxen machine for 
and treat them, in order that those who are applying ^tu^^ben 
remedies mav have readier access to their patients they are 

jne treated. 


ad pecudem medentibus sit, nee in ipsa euratione 
quadrupes reluetando remedia respuat. Est autem 
talis machinae forma : roboreis axibus compingitur 
solum, quod habet in longitudinem pedes novem, et 
in latitudinem pars prior dipundium semissem, pars 

2 posterior quattuor pedes. Huie solo septenum pedum 
stipites recti ab utroque latere quaterni applicantur. 
li autem in ipsis quattuor angulis affixi sunt, omnes- 
que transversis sex temonibus quasi vacerrae inter 
se ligantur,! j^g^ ^^^ g^ posteriore parte, quae latior ^ 
est, velut in caveam quadrupes possit induci, nee ex- 
ire alia parte prohibentibus adversis axieulis. Primis 
autem duobus statuminibus imponitur firmum iugum, 
ad quod iumenta capistrantur, vel bourn cornua re- 
ligantur. Ubi potest etiam numella ^ fabricari, ut 
inserto capite descendentibus per foramina regulis 

3 cervix catenetur. Ceterum corpus laqueatum et 
distentum temonibus obligatur, immotumque me- 
dentis arbitrio est expositum. Haec ipsa machina 
communis erit omnium maiorum quadrupedum. 

XX. Quoniam de bubus satis praecepimus, oppor- 
tune de tauris vaccisque dicemus. Tauros maxime 
membris amplissimis, moribus placidis, media aetate 
probandos censeo. Cetera fere eadem omnia in his 
observabimus, quae in bubus eligendis. Neque enim 
alio distat bonus taurus a castrato, nisi quod huie 
torva facies est, vegetior aspectus, breviora cornua, 
torosior cervix, et ita vasta, ut sit maxima portio 

^ ligantur S : ligatur AR. 

* latior c ed. pr. : laterior SAR. 

' numella S : numelli AR. 

' The details of the construction are not altogether clear, 
and the text appears in need of emendation. 


BOOK VI. XIX. i-xx. I 

and that these quadrupeds, while they are actually- 
being doctored, may not struggle and reject the 
remedies. The shape of this machine is as follows : 
a piece of ground nine feet long and two and a half 
feet wide in front and four feet wide at the back is 
floored with boards of oak. In this space four upright 2 
posts seven feet high are placed on the right and left 
sides ; they are set upright in the four corners and 
are all bound to each other with six cross-poles <» to 
form a kind of railing, so that the animal can be driven 
in fi-om the back, which is broader, as into a cage, but 
cannot get out on any of the other sides, because the 
bars get in his way and prevent him. On the two 
front posts a stout yoke is placed, to which beasts of 
burden are fastened with halters and oxen tied by 
their horns, and you can also contrive here stocks, so 
that, when the animal's head has been inserted, bars 
may descend and pass through holes and the neck 
thus be held tight. The rest of the body, secured 3 
with nooses and stretched out, is bound to the cross- 
poles and is subject to the will of the person who is 
doctoring the animal. This machine will serve alike 
for all the greater quadrupeds. 

XX. Now that we have given enough instruction Buiu. 
about oxen, it will be proper to deal next with bulls 
and cows. In my opinion we ought to esteem most 
highly bulls which have very large limbs and a calm 
temperament and are not too young or too old. In 
other respects we shall look for much the same 
qualities as we sought when choosing oxen. For a 
good bull does not differ from a gelded ox except that 
its expression is fierce, its appearance more animated, 
its horns shorter, its neck more brawny and so huge 
as to form the greatest part of its body ; its belly is 



corporis, venter ^ paulo subtruncior, qui magis rectus ^ 
et ad ineundas feminas habilis sit. 

XXI. Vaccae quoque probantur altissimae formae 
longaeque, maximis uteris, frontibus latissimis, oculis 
nigris et patentissimis, cornibus venustis et levibus 
et nigrantibus, pilosis auribus, compressis malis, 
palearibus et caudis amplissimis, ungulis modicis, et 
cruribus parvis.^ Cetera quoque fere eadem in 
feminis, quae et in maribus, desiderantur, et praeci- 
pue ut sint novellae : quoniam, cum excesserunt 

2 annos decern, fetibus inutiles sunt. Rursus minores 
bimis iniri non oportet. Si ante tamen conceperint, 
partum earum removeri placet, ac per triduum, ne 
laborent, ubera exprimi, postea mulctra prohiberi. 

XXII. Sed et curandum est omnibus annis aeque 
ac in reliquis gregibus pecoris, ut delectus habeatur. 
Nam et enixae ^ et vetustae,^ quod gignere de- 
sierunt, summovendae sunt, et utique taurae, quae 
locum fecundarum occupant, ablegandae vel aratro 
domandae ; quoniam laboris et operis non minus 
quam iuvenci propter uteri sterilitatem patientes 
sunt. Eiusmodi armentum maritima et aprica 

2 hiberna desiderat ; aestate ^ opacissima nemorum et 
montium,' elata ^ magis quam plana pascua. Nam 

^ venter Schneider : ventre SAR. 

* rectus ed. pr. : treus S : reus AR. 

* parvis diibiianier add. Lundslrom. 

* enixae Aid. : et visae 8 : et vise AR. 

* vetustate SAR. 

* 6 statim S : aestatim A. 

' opacissima nemorum et montium Lundatrom : opicis 
morum omnium SAR : opacis nemorum omnium a. 


BOOK VI. XX. i-xxii. 2 

rather less developed underneath, so that it forms a 
straighter line and is more convenient for coupling 
with the female. 

XXI. Cows also are most highly esteemed which cowa. 
are very tall and long in shape, with large bellies, 
very broad foreheads, eyes black and very wide-open, 
horns elegant, smooth and inclined to blackness, 
hairy ears, compressed cheek-bones, very large 
dewlaps and tails, hoofs of moderate size, and small 
legs. In other respects almost the same qualities 

are desirable in the females as in the males ; above 
all things they should be young, since, when they 
have passed ten years, they are useless for breeding. 
On the other hand they should not be covered by the 
bulls when they are less than two years old ; if, how- 2 
ever, they conceive before reaching two years, it is 
thought proper that their young should be taken from 
them and their udders emptied for three days that 
they may not feel pain, and that after that they 
should be kept away from the milk-pail. 

XXII. You should also take care to hold an AnnuaJ re- 
examination of your cows, as of all herds of cattle, j^erd.°' ^^ 
every year; for those which have done with calf- 
bearing and are old, since they have ceased bearing, 
should be removed, and barren cows in particular, which 

are occupying the place of the fertile, must be got rid 
of or broken in to the plough ; for on account of their 
sterility they can endure toil and work quite as well 
as bullocks. This kind of cattle requires sunny 2 
pasture-ground near the sea in the winter ; but in 
summer they like the shadiest parts of the woods or 
mountains and pasturage on high ground rather than 

* elata Heinsius : ac laeta 8 : ac leta AR : alta a. 



melius nemoribus herbidis et frutectis ^ et carectis ^ 
pascitur,' quoniam siccis ac lapidosis locis durantur 
ungulae. Nee tarn fluvios * rivosque desiderat, 
quam lacus ^ manu factos ; quoniam et fluvialis ^ 
aqua, quae fere frigidior est, partum abigit, et 
caelestis iucundior est. Omnis tamen externi frigoris 
tolerantior equino armento vacca est, ideoque facile 
sub dio hibernat. 

XXIII. Sed laxo spatio consepta facienda sunt, ne 
in angustiis conceptum altera alterius elidat, et ut 
invalida fortioris ictus efFugiat. Stabula sunt optima 
saxo aut glarea strata, non incommoda tamen etiam 
sabulosa, ilia, quod imbres respuant, haec, quod 
celeriter exsorbent transmittuntque. Sed utraque 
devexa sint, ut humorem effundant ; spectentque ad 
meridiem, ut facile siccentur, et frigidis ventis non 

2 sint "^ obnoxia. Levis autem cura pascui est. Nam 
ut laetior herba consurgat, fere ultimo tempore 
aestatis incenditur. Ea res et teneriora pabula re- 
creat, incensis sentibus duris ® et fruticem surrectu- 
rum in altitudinem compescit. Ipsis vero corporibus 
afFert salubritatem iuxta conseptum saxis et canali- 
bus sal superiectus, ad quem saturae pabulo libenter 
recurrunt, cum pastorali signo quasi receptui canitur. 

3 Nam id quoque semper crepusculo fieri debet, ut ad 
sonum buccinae pecus, si quod in silvis substiterit, 

^ frutetis ed. pr. : fructibus SAB. 
^ curetis 8AE : caretis ed. pr. 
' pascitur,^ add. Schneider. 

* pluvios SAB : fluvios a. 

* lacus B : iacu SA . 

* pluvialis jS^-K : fluvialis a. ^ aii SAB. 

* incensis sentibus duris et Lvndslrom : dentis durib ; S : 
dentibus duribus A^ : dentibus duris B : sentibus duris, ed. 
pr. : incensis aridis Palladius, IX. 4. 


BOOK VI. xxii. 2-xxin. 3 

in the plain ; for it is better for them to feed in grassy 
woods and places covered with bushes and sedge-beds, 
since in dry, stony places their hoofs become hard. 
They do not require rivers and streams so much as 
artificial ponds, since river-water, which is generally 
colder, causes abortion, while rain-water is pleasanter 
to the taste. Cows, however, endure every out- 
door cold better than horses and so can easily pass 
the winter under the open sky. 

XXIII. Enclosures must be constructed which Enclosures 
allow ample space, so that one cow may not in gheds?^ 
narrow quarters cause abortion in another and that 
a feeble cow may avoid the blows of a stronger. 
The best cow-sheds are floored with stone or gravel, 
though sandy floors are also suitable, the former 
because they keep out rainwater, the latter because 
they quickly absorb it and drain it away. In either 
case they must be shelving, so as to make the 
moisture flow away, and they should face the south 
that they may dry easily and not be exposed to 
the cold winds. The care of the pasturage is a 2 
small matter; for, in order that the grass may 
grow more abundantly, it is usually burnt in the last 
part of the summer. This makes the fodder more 
tender when it grows again, since the hard briers are 
burnt, and it keeps down the bushes which would 
grow to a great height. Salt sprinkled on the stones 
and water-courses near the enclosures contributes to 
the good bodily health of the cattle and they gladly 
have recourse to it after they have eaten their fill, 
when what may be called the cowherd's signal for 
retreat is sounded ; for this too ought always to be 3 
given at dusk, so that any cattle which have remained 
in the woods may be accustomed, when the horn 



saepta repetere consuescat. Hie enim recognosci 
grex poterit, numerusque ^ constare si velut ex 
militari disciplina intra stabularii ^ castra manserint. 
Sed non eadeni in tauros exercentur imperia, qui freti 
viribus per nemora vagantur, liberosque egressus et 
reditus habent, nee revocantur nisi ad coitus femi- 

XXIV. Ex eis,^ qui quadrimis minores sunt mai- 
oresque quam * duodecim annorum, prohibentur 
admissura : illi,^ quoniam quasi puerili aetate semi- 
nandis armentis parum idonei habentur; hi, quia 
senio sunt efFeti.^ Mense lulio feminae maribus 
plerumque permittendae, ut eo tempore conceptos 

2 proximo vere adultis iam pabulis edant.' Nam 
decern mensibus ventrem perferunt, neque ex imperio 
magistri, sed sua sponte mai'em ^ patiuntur.^ Atque 
in id fere^" quod dixi tempus, naturalia congruunt 
desideria, quoniam satietate verni pabuli pecudes 
exhilaratae lasciviunt in venerem, quam si aut 
femina recusat, aut non appetit taurus, eadem 
ratione, qua fastidientibus equis mox praecipiemus, 
elicitur cupiditas odore genitalium admoto naribus. 

3 Sed et pabulum circa tempus admissurae subtrahitur 
feminis, ne eas steriles reddat nimia corporis obesitas ; 

^ numerumqiie SAB. 

2 stabularii ed. pr. : stabularum SAR. 

Ms-S: his AR. 

* quam AM. : cum SAR. 

* illi eil. pr. : ilia SAR. 
6 effecti A^ : effeti SA^. 

' edant ed. pr. : edat SAR. 

* -que post marem AR : quae S. 

» patitur SAB. " ferre 8A : fere ac. 


BOOK VI. xxiir. 3-xxiv. 3 

sounds, to seek their enclosures. Here it will be 
possible to pass the herd in review and its numbers 
can be verified, if, as though under military disci- 
pline, they occupy the quarters assigned to them 
by the keeper of the stalls. But the same strict 
rules are not imposed upon the bulls, which, relying 
on their strength, wander about in the woods and 
have free exit and return and are only recalled when 
they are required to cover the females. 

XXIV. Bulls which are less than four years old and The breed- 
more than twelve are prevented from mounting the fe- '"^ °^ '^""'*' 
males, the former because, being as it were in their 
infancy, they are regarded as hardly suitable for breed- 
ing purposes, the latter because they are worn out with 
old age. The females are generally allowed to con- 
sort with the males in the month of July, in order 
that they may give birth to the young which are 
conceived at this time in the following spring, when 
the fodder has already come to perfection ; for the 2 
period of gestation is ten months. The cows do not 
admit the male at their owner's command but of 
their own accord and their natural desires coincide 
generally with the time of year which I have 
mentioned, since exhilarated by the abundance of 
food which the spring provides they become wanton 
and desire intercourse. If the female refuses inter- 
course or the bull feels no desire for her, the same 
method is employed as we shall presently prescribe 
for the stallion who shows distaste for the mare, 
namely desire is stimulated by bringing to the nostrils 
the odour of the genital parts. Also towards the time 3 
when the females are to be covered their food is re- 
duced, so that excessive fatness may not render them 
barren, while the diet of the bulls is increased, so that 



et tauris adicitur, quo fortius ineant. Unumque 
marem quindecim vaccis sufficere abunde est. Qui 
ubi iuvencam supervenit, certis signis comprehendere 
licet, quern sexum generaverit : quoniam si parte 
dextra desiluit, marem seminasse manifestum est ; si 
laeva, feminam. Id tamien ^ verum esse non aliter 
apparet, quam si post unum coitum forda non ad- 

4 mittit taurum : quod et ipsum raro accidit. Nam 
quamvis plena fetu non expletur libidine : adeo 
ultra naturae terminos etiam in pecudibus plurimum 
pollent blandae voluptatis illecebrae. 

Sed non dubium est, ubi pabuli sit laetitia, posse 
omnibus annis partum educari ; at ubi penuria est, 
alternis submitti : quod maxime in operariis vaccis 
fieri placet, ut et \ituli annui temporis spatio lacte 
satientur, nee forda simul operis et uteri gravetur ^ 
onere. Quae cum partum edidit, nisi cibis fulta est, 
quamvis bona nutrix, labore fatigata nato subtrahit 

5 alimentum. Itaque et fetae cytisus viridis ' et 
torrefactum hordeum,^ maceratumque ervum prae- 
betur, et tener vitulus ^ torrido molitoque miUo et 
permixto cum lacte salivatur. Melius etiam in hos 
usus Altinae vaccae parantur, quas eius regionis in- 
colae cevas ^ appellant. Eae sunt humilis staturae, 

1 tarn SAR. 

* gravetur S : graventur AR. 

* viridis ed. pr. : viri SAB. 

* in horreum SAR. 

» tener vitulus Poniedera : tenuervitolus S^ : tenue vitulus 
5* : teneruit olus A. 

* gevas S : cevas Aac. 

" I.e. from the point of view of nursing their young. 

* A town near Venice. 

* This word is probably the origin of tb^ Low German Keue. 



they may put more energy into the sexual act. One 
bull is quite enough for fifteen cows ; and, when it 
has covered a heifer there are definite signs by 
which you can tell what is the sex of the offspring 
which it has begotten ; since, if he uncouples towards 
the right side, it is clear that he has begotten a male, 
if towards the left, a female. But whether this is 
really true is only apparent when after one copula- 
tion the pregnant cow refuses to admit the bull again, 
and this actually happens only rarely ; for although 4 
the cow may have conceived, she is not satisfied in 
her desires ; so true is it that the seductive allure- 
ments of pleasure exercise the greatest power even 
over cattle beyond the bounds prescribed by nature. 
There is no doubt that where there is a great luxuri- 
ance of fodder, a calf can be reared from the same 
cow every year, but, where food is scarce, the cow 
must be used for breeding only every other year. 
This rule is particularly observed where cows are 
employed for work, in order that, firstly, the calves 
may have abundance of milk for the space of a year, 
and, secondly, that a breeding cow may not have 
to bear the burden of work and pregnancy at the 
same time. When she has given birth to a calf, ' 
however good a mother she may be, if she is worn 
out by work, she denies the calf its due nourishment 
if her diet does not give her enough support. That 5 
is why green shrub-trefoil and toasted barley and 
sodden bitter-vetch are given to a cow which has 
borne a calf, and her tender young is given a drench 
of grilled millet ground up and mixed with milk. 
For these purposes " too it is better to procure cows 
from Altina,* which the inhabitants of that region 
call cevae.'^ They are of low stature and produce an 



lactis abundantes, propter quod remotis earum 
fetibus, generosum pecus alienis educatur uberibus : 
vel si hoc praesidium non adest, faba fresa et vinum 
recte tolerat, idque praecipue in magnis gregibus 
fieri oportet. 

XXV. Solent autem vitulis nocere lumbrici, qui 
fere nascuntur cruditatibus. Itaque moderandum 
est, ut bene concoquant : aut si iam tali vitio laborant, 
lupini semicrudi conteruntur, et ofFae salivati more 
faucibus ingeruntur. Potest etiam cum arida fico et 
ervo conteri herba Santonica, et formata in oiFam, 
sicut salivatum demitti. Facit idem axungiae pars 
una tribus partibus hyssopi permixta. Marrubii 
quoque suceus et porri valet eiusmodi necare 

XXVI. Castrare vitulos Mago censet, dum adhuc 
teneri sunt; neque id ferro faeere, sed fissa ^ ferula 
comprimere testiculos, et paulatim confringere. 
Idque optimum genus castrationum putat, quod 

2 adhibetur aetati tenerae sine vulnere. Nam, ubi 
iam induruit, melius bimus quam anniculus castratur. 
Idque faeere vere ^ vel autumno luna decrescente 
praecipit, vitulumque ad machinam deligare : deinde 
prius quam ferrum admoveas, duabus angustis ' 

^ fissa 8 : ipsa AR. 

uaaoi a . ipsa .i^-tt. 

vere S : om. AR. 

angustis S : angustiis Aac. 

o Herba Santonica according to Pliny (N.H. XXVII. § 28) 
was a kind of absinthium or wormwood found in the territory 
of the Santoni in the province of Aqnitania : the name of the 
town of Saintes in the department of Charentes Inferieure ia 
derived from this tribe. 

' Described in Chapter XIX above. 


BOOK VI. XXIV. 5-xxvi. 2 

abundance of milk, for which reason, if their own 
young are taken from them, excellent cattle can be 
reared at the udders of cows who are not their 
mothers ; or if this resource is not available, the calf 
puts up quite well with crushed beans and wine. 
This plan should be adopted particularly in large 

XXV. Worms, which generally occur when indiges- Kemedies 
tion is present, are often harmful to calves. Their i^'cliv™^ 
feeding, therefore, must be so regulated that they 
digest properly ; or, if they are already suffering 

from a malady of this kind, half-raw lupines are 
crushed and pellets of them thrust down their throats 
to serve as a drench. Wormwood « can also be 
ground up with dried figs and bitter-vetch and 
made up into pellets and thrust down their throats 
to act as a drench. The same effect is produced by 
one part of axle-grease mixed with three parts of 
hyssop; also the juice of horehound and of leek is 
effectual for killing creatures of this kind. 

XXVI. Mago is in favour of castrating calves while ^he castra- 
they are still young and tender, and he advises that calves. 
the operation should not be performed with a knife 

but that the testicles should be compressed with a 
piece of cleft fennel and gradually broken up. He 
considers this to be the best method of castration, 
because it is applied when the animal is still tender 
and causes no wound. When the animal has grown 2 
tougher, it is better that it should be castrated as a 
two-year-old than as a one-year-old. He recom- 
mends that the operation should take place in the 
spring or in the autumn when the moon is waning, 
and that the calf should be bound in the machine * ; 
then, before applying the knife, you should seize 



ligneis regulis veluti forcipibus apprehendere testium 
nervos,quos Graeci Kpefxacrrijpas ab eo appellant, quod 
ex illis genitales partes dependant. Comprehensos 
deinde testes ferro reserare, et expresses ita recidere, 
ut extrema pars eorum adhaerens praedictis nervis 

3 relinquatur. Nam hoc modo nee eruptione sanguinis 
periclitatur iuvencus, nee in totum effeminatur 
adempta omni virilitate ; formamque servat maris 
cum generandi vim deposuit, quam tamen ipsam non 
protinus amittit. Nam si patiaris eum a recenti 
curatione feminam inire, constat ex eo posse generari. 
Sed minime id permittendum, ne profluvio sanguinis 
intereat. Verum vulnera eius sarmenticio cinere 
cum argenti spuma linenda sunt, abstinendusque eo 

4 die ab humore, et exiguo cibo alendus. Sequenti ^ 
triduo velut aeger cacuminibus arborum et desecto 
viridi pabulo oblectandus, prohibendusque multa 
potione. Placet etiam pice liquida et cinere cum 
exiguo oleo ulcera ipsa post triduum linere, quo et 
celerius cicatricem ducant, nee a muscis infestentur. 
Hactenus de bubus dixisse abunde est. 

XXVII. Quibus cordi est educatio generis equini, 
maxime convenit providere actorem ^ industrium et 
pabuli copiam : quae utraque vel mediocria possunt 
aliis^ pecoribus adhiberi. Summam sedulitatem et 
largam satietatem desiderat equitium. Quod ipsum 

^ sequensei S : sequens AR. 

" actorem Gesner : auctorem SAR, 

' aliia 6' : alias AR. 


BOOK VI. XXVI. 2-xxvii, I 

between two narrow laths of wood, as in a forceps, 
the sinews of the testicles, which the Greeks call 
" hangers," because the genital parts hang from them, 
and then take hold of the testicles and lay them open 
with a knife and after pressing them out cut them 
off in such a way that their extremities are left adher- 
ing to the said sinews. By this method the steer 3 
runs no danger from an eruption of blood, nor is it 
likely to lose its masculinity and become totally 
effeminate, and it keeps the form of a male when it 
has been deprived of generative power. This, how- 
ever, it does not lose immediately ; for, if you allow 
it to cover a cow directly after the operation, it is 
certain that it is possible for it to beget offspring ; but 
it should by no means be allowed to do so, lest it die 
from a flux of blood. The wounds should be anointed 
with the ash of brushwood and litharge of silver, 
and the animal should be kept away from water for 
that day and be fed on only a little food. For the 4 
three following days it should be treated as a sick 
animal and tempted to eat with the tops of trees and 
green fodder cut off for it and must not be allowed to 
drink much. It is thought right also to anoint the 
actual sores after three days with liquid pitch and 
ashes mixed with a little oil, so that they may scar 
over more quickly and that they may not be infested 
by flies. I have now said enough about oxen. 

XXVII. For those whose pleasure it is to rear Horses. 
horses it is of the utmost importance to provide a 
painstaking overseer and plenty of fodder ; both 
these points can be neglected up to a certain point in 
dealing with other domestic animals. A stud of 
horses, however, requires the most assiduous atten- 
tion and a generous diet. Horses themselves fall 



tripartite ^ dividitur. Est enim generosa materies, 
quae circo sacrisque certaminibus equos praebet. 
Est mularis, quae pretio fetus sui comparatur 
generoso. Est et vulgaris, quae mediocres feminas 
maresque progenerat, Ut quaeque est praestantior, 

2 ita ubere campo pascitur. Gregibus autem spatiosa 
et palustria montana pascua eligenda sunt, rigua nee 
unquam siccanea,^ vacuaque^ magis quam stirpibus 
impedita frequentibus,* mollibus ° potius quam 

3 proceris herbis abundantia, Vulgaribus equis passim 
maribus ac feminis ^ pasci permittitur, nee admissurae 
certa tempora servantur.' Generosis circa vernum 
aequinoctium mares iniungentur, ut eodem tempore, 
quo conceperint,® iam laetis et herbidis campis post 
annum ^ parvo cum ^^ labore fetum ^^ educent. Nam 
mense ^^ duodecimo ^^ partum edunt. Maxime itaque 
curandum est praedicto tempore anni, ut tam feminis 
quam admissariis desiderantibus coeundi fiat po- 
testas, quoniam id praecipue armentum, si prohibeas, 
libidinis exstimulatur furiis, unde etiam veneno in- 
ditum est nomen iTTTTOfxaves, quod equinae cupidini 

4 similem mortalibus amorem accendit. Nee dubium 
quin aliquot regionibus tanto flagrent ardore coeundi 

^ tripartito SAR. 

^ siccana Sa : sicana AB. 

^ bacuane SAB. 

* frequentibus S : frequenter Aac. 

* mollibus S : mollis AB. 

* feminis B : finibus SA. 

' servantur S : serventur AB. 

* conceperint 8^ : coeperint A. 

* post annum add. mensem SAB. 

!*• parvo cum S^Aac : per vocum S^. 
11 feitumS: fittuJ. 
^* mense a : mensem 8 A . 



into three classes. There is the noble stock which 
supplies horses for the circus and the Sacred Games ; 
then there is the stock used for breeding mules 
which in the price which its offspring fetches is a 
match for the noble breed ; and there is the common 
breed which produces ordinary mares and horses. 
The more excellent each class is, the richer must be 2 
the pasturage assigned to it. The feeding-grounds 
chosen for herds of horses must be spacious and 
marshy, mountainous, well-watered and never 
diy, empty rather than encumbered by many tree- 
trunks, and producing an abundance of soft rather 
than tall grass. The stallions and mares of the 3 
common stock are allowed to be pastured every- 
where together, and no fixed seasons are observed 
for breeding. The stallions of the noble stock will 
be put to the mares about the time of the spring 
equinox, so that the mares may be able to rear their 
offspring with little trouble, when the pasture is rich 
and grassy, at the same season a year later as that 
at which they conceived them ; for they give birth 
to their young in the twelfth month. The greatest 
care, therefore, must be taken that at the said time of 
year every opportunity is given equally to mares as to 
their stallions to couple if they desire to do so, because, 
if you prevent them from doing so, horses beyond all 
animals are excited by the fury of their lust. (Hence 
the term " horse-madness " is given to the poison 
which kindles in human beings a passion like the 
desire in horses.) Indeed, in some regions, there is 4 
no doubt that the mares are affected by such a 
burning desire for intercourse, that, even though 

" duodecimo o : duodecima 8 A. 



feminae, ut etiam si marem non habeant, assidua et 
nimia cupiditate figurando^ sibi ipsae venerem co- 
hortalium more avium vento concipiant. Neque 
enim poeta licentius dicit : 

5 Scilicet ante omnes furor est insignis equarum. 

lUas ducit amor trans Gargara, transque sonantem 
Ascanium ; superant montes et flumina tranant, 

6 Continuoque avidis ubi subdita flamma meduUis, 
Vere magis, quia vere calor redit ossibus, illae 
Ore omnes versae ad Zephyrum, stant rupibus altis, 
Exceptantque leves auras, et saepe sine ullis 
Coniugiis, vento gravidae (mirabile dictu). 

7 Cum sit notissimum etiam in Sacro monte Hispaniae, 
qui procurrit in occidentem iuxta Oceanum, fre- 
quenter equas sine eoitu ventrem ^ pertulisse fetum- 
que educasse, qui tamen inutilis est, quod triennio, 
prius quam adolescat, morte absumitur. Quare, ut 
dixi, dabimus operam, ne circa aequinoctium vernum 

8 equae desideriis naturalibus angantur.^ Equos au- 
tem pretiosos reliquo tempore anni removere oportet 
a feminis, ne aut cum volent ineant aut, si id facere 

^ figurando S : figurandus AR. 

* ventrem S : vente A : ventum B. 

' aguntur SAR. 

' Vergil, Georg. III. 266 and 269-275. 
* The highest peak of the range of Mt. Ida. 
« A river of Bithynia (Strabo, XIV. 681). 
"* The story of the impregnation of mares by the wind seems 
to be as old as Homer (II. XVI. 150). 



there is no stallion at hand, owing to their continuous 
and excessive passion, by imagining in their own 
minds the pleasures of love they become pregnant 
with wind, just as farmyard hens produce " wind- 
eggs." Indeed the poet is not indulging his fancy 
too much when he says : " 

But, beyond all furies, wondrous is the rage 5 

Of mares ; 

Love leads them over Gargara * 

And o'er Ascanius' " loudly roaring stream ; 

They scale the mountain and through rivers swim. 

Soon as the flame has reached their craving marrow 6 

(More so in spring, for then the heat returns 

And warms their bones) all on high rocks they 

Facing the west, and the light breezes catch. 
And oft with wind conceive, without the aid 
Of union — a wondrous tale to tell ! '^ 

For it is also well-known that on the Holy Mountain 7 
of Spain,* which runs westward near the Ocean, 
mares have often become pregnant without coition 
and reared their offspring, which, however, is of no 
use, because it is snatched away by death at three 
years of age, before it can come to maturity. There- 
fore, as I have said, we shall take care that the brood- 
mares are not tormented by their natural desires 
about the time of the spring equinox. But during 8 
the rest of the year the valuable stallions should be 
kept away from the mares, so that they do not cover 
them whenever they wish, nor, if they are prevented 

• Varro, de Be Rustica (II. 1. 9) says that this occurred in the 
district in which Olisipo, the modem Lisbon, was situated. 




prohibeantur, cupidine sollicitati ^ noxam contra- 
hant.^ Itaque vel in longinqua pascua marem placet 
ablegari, vel ad praesepia contineri : eoque tempore, 
quo vocatur a feminis, roborandus est largo cibo, et 
appropinquante vere hordeo ervoque^ saginandus, ut 
veneri supersit, quantoque fortior inierit, firmiora 
9 semina praebeat futurae stirpi. Quidam etiam 
praecipiunt eodem ritu, quo mulos, admissarium 
saginare, ut hac sagina hilaris pluribus ^ feminis 
sufficiat. Verum tamen nee minus quam quindecim 
nee rursus plures quam viginti unus debet implere, 
isque admissurae post trimatum usque in annos 

10 viginti plerumque idoneus est. Quod si admissarius 
iners in venerem est, odore proritatur, detersis 
spongia feminae locis, et admota naribus equi. 
Rursus si equa marem non patitur, detrita scilla 
naturalia eius linuntur, quae res accendit libidinem. 
Nonnunquam ignobilis quoque ac vulgaris elicit ^ 
cupidinem coeundi. Nam ubi admotus ^ fere ten- 
tavit obsequium feminae,' abducitur,^ et iam 
patientiori generosior equus imponitur. 

Inde maior praegnantibus adhibenda cura est, 

11 largoque pascuo firmandae. Quod si frigore hiemis 
herbae defecerint, tecto contineantur, ac neque opere 

^ sollicitationis S : -i A. 

* contrahant S : -unt A R. 

' herboque S^A : hervoq ; <S* : ervoque c. 

* pluribus S : plurimis AR. 

" elicit S, ed. pr. : digit AR. 

* admotu SAR. 

' feminae Ur sinus : femina 8R : semina A. 

* adducitur SAR. 



from doing so, harm themselves through excitement 
due to their desires. It is better, therefore, either 
to banish a stallion in some distant pasture or else 
keep it shut up in the stables ; then at the time 
when it is summoned by the mare, it should be 
fortified by a generous diet, and with the approach 
of spring should be fattened on barley and bitter- 
vetch, so that it may be equal to the fatigues of 
intercourse, and that, the stronger it is when it covers 
the mare, the greater may be the sexual vigour 
which it communicates to its future descendants. 
Some authorities also prescribe that one should 9 
fatten up a stallion by the method used for mules, 
so that, exhilarated by this condition, it may suffice 
for a number of mares. However, one stallion ought 
to be able to impregnate not less than fifteen and 
on the other hand not more than twenty mares, and 
is generally suitable to breeding purposes from three 
years of age to twenty. But if a stallion is dis- 10 
inclined for intercourse, he can be roused by the 
odour of a sponge, with which the parts of the mare 
have been wiped, applied to his nostrils. On the 
other hand, if the mare refuses to submit to the 
stallion, her parts are anointed with crushed squill, 
and this kindles her desire. Sometimes, too, a badly- 
bred ordinary horse is used to arouse in the mare a 
longing for copulation ; for, when he has approached 
her and, so to speak, invited her compliance, he is 
led away and the better-bred horse is mated with the 
now more complaisant mare. 

From the time when mares become pregnant they 
need special care and must be fortified by generous 
fodder. If the grass has failed owing to the cold of 
winter, they should be kept under cover and not be 11 



neque cursu exerceantur, neque frigori committan- 
tur, nee in angusto clause, ne aliae aliarum conceptus 
elidant: nam haec omnia incommoda fetum abi- 
gunt. Quod si tamen aut partu aut abortu aqua 
laboravit, remedio erit felicula trita, et aqua tepida 

12 permixta ac data per cornu. Sin autem prospere 
cessit, minime manu contingendus puUus erit.^ 
Nam laeditur etiam levissimo contactu. Tantum ^ 
cura adhibebitur, ut et amplo et calido loco cum 
matre versetur, ne aut frigus adhuc infirmo noceat, 
aut mater in angustiis eum obterat. Paulatim 
deinde producendus erit, providendumque, ne ster- 
core ungulas adurat. Mox cum firmior fuerit, in 
eadem pascua, in quibus mater est, dimittendus, ne 

13 desiderio partus sui laboret equa. Nam id praecipue 
genus pecudis amore natorum, nisi fiat potestas, 
noxam trahit. Vulgari feminae solenne est omnibus 
annis parere, generosam convenit alternis continere, 
quo firmior pullus lacte materno laboribus certa- 
minum praeparetur. 

XXVI 1 1. Marem putant minorem trimo non esse 
idoneum admissurae, posse vero usque ad vigesimum 
annum progenerare ; feminam bimam recte conci- 
pere, ut post tertium annum enixa fetum educet: 

^ pullus erit S : polluerit AR : poluerit c. 
* tanta SAR. 


BOOK VI, XXVII. ii-xxviii. I 

fatigued by work or journeys, and they should not 
be exposed to the cold nor enclosed in a narrow space 
lest they should cause one another to miscarry ; for 
all these unfavourable conditions cause abortion. 
But if a mare has suffered either in producing its off- 
spring or from abortion, polypody crushed and mixed 
with tepid water and administered through a horn 
will serve as a remedy. If, on the other hand, all 12 
goes well, the foal must on no account be touched 
with the hand, for even the lightest contact is harm- 
ful. All that one will have to do is to take care that 
the foal lives with its mother in a place which is both 
roomy and warm, so that the cold may not hurt it 
while it is still weak and that its mother may not 
crush it because its quarters are narrow. Then 
gradually it will have to be made to leave the stable, 
and care must be taken that it does not burn its hoofs 
with dung. Soon, when it has become stronger, it 
must be sent out to the same pasture as its mother, 
so that the latter may not be afflicted through longing 
for its offspring ; for this kind of animal especially 13 
suffers through its love for its young, if it have not the 
opportunity for indulging it. An ordinary mare is in 
the habit of bearing a foal every year ; but a well- 
bred mare ought to be pregnant in alternate years, 
in order that, receiving greater strength from its 
mother's milk, the foal may be prepared for the toil 
of the contests. 

XXVIII. It is generally thought that a stallion is The age of a 
not suitable for breeding purposes before it is three ^*^^"'°'^- 
years old, and that it can continue to procreate until 
its twentieth year, but that it is all right for a mare 
to conceive at the age of two years, so that it is three 
years old when it bears and rears its young, and it is 



eandemque post decimum non esse utilem, quod ex 
annosa matre tarda sit atque iners proles. Quae 
sive ut femina sive ut masculus concipiatur, nostri 
arbitrii fore Democritus affirmat, qui praecipit, ut, 
cum progenerari marem velimus, sinistrum testicu- 
lum admissarii lineo funiculo aliove quolibet obli- 
gemus ; cum feminam, dextrum. Idemque in omni- 
bus paene pecudibus faciendum censet. 

XXIX. Cum vero natus est pullus, confestim licet 
indolem aestimare, si hilaris, si intrepidus, si neque 
conspectu novae rei neque ^ auditu ^ terretur, si ante 
gregem procurrit, si lascivia et alacritate interdum et 
cursu certans aequales ^ exsuperat,* si fossam sine 
cunctatione transilit, pontem flumenque transcendit, 
haec erunt honesti animi documenta. 

2 Corporis vero forma constabit exiguo capite, nigris 
oculis, naribus apertis, brevibus auriculis et arrectis, 
cervice molli lataque nee longa, densa iuba ^ et per 
dextram partem profusa, lato et musculorum toris 
numeroso pectore, grandibus armis et rectis, lateri- 
bus inflexis, spina duplici, ventre substricto, testibus 
paribus et exiguis, latis lumbis et subsidentibus, 

3 Cauda longa et setosa crispaque, mollibus atque 
altis rectisque cruribus, tereti genu parvoque neque 
introrsus spectanti, rotundis clunibus, feminibus 
torosis ac numerosis, duris ungulis et altis et concavis 
rotundisque, quibus coronae mediocres superpositae 
sunt. Sic universum corpus compositum, ut sit 
grande,* sublime, erectum, ab aspectu quoque agile, 

* nove rei neq. S : noveque rei AR. 

* auditu S : audita ut AR. 

' aequalis S : exequalis AR. 

* exuperat AR : exuberat S. 

* iuba c : iuva S : tuta A. 
« glande S^A : grande ac. 


BOOK VI. xx\aii. i-xxix. 3 

also considered to be of no use after the tenth year, 
because the offspring of an aged mother is slow and 
lazy. Democritus declares that it will rest with us 
whether a male or a female is conceived, since he 
directs us, if we wish that a male should be be- 
gotten, to tie up the stallion's left testicle with a 
flaxen cord or some other material, and the right 
testicle if we want a female offspring ; and he thinks 
that the same method should be adopted with almost 
all other cattle. 

XXIX. As soon as a foal is born, it is possible to The quaU- 
judge its natural qualities immediately. If it is good- horse.^ * 
humoured, if it is courageous, if it is not alarmed by 
the sight or sound of something unfamiliar, if it runs 
in front of the herd, if it surpasses its age-mates in 
playfulness and activity on various occasions and 
when competing in a race, if it leaps over a ditch and 
crosses a bridge on a river without baulking — these 
are the signs of generous mettle. 

Its physical form will consist of a small head, dark 2 
eyes, wide-open nostrils, short, upstanding ears, a 
neck which is soft and broad without being long, a 
thick mane which hangs down on the right side, a 
broad chest covered with well-proportioned muscles, 
the shoulders big and straight, the flanks arched, the 
back-bone double, the belly drawn in, the testicles 
well matched and small, the loins broad and sunken, 3 
the tail long and covered with bristling, curly hair, 
the legs soft and tall and straight, the knee tapering 
and small and not turned inwards, the buttocks round, 
the haunches brawny and well-proportioned, the 
hoofs hard, high, hollow and round with moderately 
large crowns above them; the whole body must be 
so formed as to be large, tall and erect, and also active 



et ex longo, quantum figura permittit, rotundum. 

4 Mores autem laudantur, qui sunt ex placido con- 
citati, et ex concitato mitissimi. Nam hi et ad 
obsequia reperiuntur habiles, et ad certamina 
laboremque promptissimi. Equus bimus ad usum 
domesticum recte domatur ; certaminibus autem 
expleto triennio : sic tamen ut post quartum demum 
annum labori committatur. 

5 Annorum notae cum corpore mutantur. Nam 
dum bimus et sex mensium est, medii dentes superi- 
ores et inferiores cadunt. Cum quartum annum ^ 
agit his, qui canini appellantur, deiectis, alios affert. 
Intra sextum deinde annum molares superiores et 
inferiores^ cadunt. Sexto anno, quos primos mu- 
tavit, exaequat. Septimo omnes explentur aequa- 
liter, et ex eo cavatos gerit. Nee postea quot 
annorum sit, manifesto comprehendi potest. Decimo 
tamen anno tempora cavari incipiunt, et superciha 
nonnunquam canescere, et dentes prominere. Haec, 
quae ad animum et mores corpusque et aetatem 
pertinent, dixisse satis habeo. Nunc sequitur curam 
recte et minus valentium demonstrare. 

XXX. Si sanis ^ est macies, celerius torrefacto 
tritico, quam hordeo reficitur. Sed et vini potio danda 

^ annum om. AR. 

* et inferiores S : om. AM. 

' satis SAB. 

" I.e. it should only contest after a year's training. 

BOOK VI. XXIX. 3-xxx. i 

in appearance and, in spite of its length, rounded as 
far as its shape allows. As regards character, those 4 
horses are esteemed which are roused to activity 
after being quiet and become very mild again after 
being roused ; for such animals are found to be both 
amenable to discipline and very ready to take part in 
public contests and the effort which they require. 
At two years of age a horse is suitable to be trained 
for domestic purposes ; but, if it is to be trained for 
racing, it should have completed three years, and 
provided that it is entered for this kind of effort only 
after its fourth year." 

The signs which mark a horse's age change with its 5 
physical changes. For when it is two years and six 
months old, its middle teeth, both the upper and the 
lower, fall out. In the course of its fourth year the 
so-called canine teeth are shed and it grows new 
ones in their place ; then, before the end of its sixth 
year the upper and lower molars fall out, and in the 
course of the sixth year it makes up the number of 
the first set of teeth which it has changed ; in the 
seventh year the whole set is completed, and hence- 
forward the animal has some hollow teeth ; and, 
subsequently, it is impossible to ascertain with 
certainty what its age is. In its tenth year, however, 
its temples begin to sink and its eyebrows sometimes 
begin to turn white and its teeth to project. I think 
I have said enough on the subject of the horse's dis- 
position, character, physique and age. My next 
business is to set forth the way to look after horses in 
health and sickness. 

XXX. If a horse is thin without being ill, it can be Medicines 
restored to condition more quickly with roasted wheat °^ °'^^' 
than with barley ; but it must also be given wine to 



est, ac deinde paulatim eiusmodi cibi subtrahend! 
immixtis hordeo furfuribus, dum consuescat faba et 
puro hordeo ali.^ Nee minus quotidie corpora pecu- 
dum quam hominum defricanda sunt : ac saepe plus 
prodest pressa manu subegisse terga, quam si 
largissime cibos praebeas.^ Paleae vero equis 

2 stantibus substernendae.' Multum autem refert 
robur corporis ac pedum ^ conservare.^ Quod utrum- 
que custodiemus, si idoneis temporibus ad praesepia, 
ad aquam, ad exercitationem pecus duxerimus, 
curaeque fuerit ut stabulentur sicco loco, ne humore 
madescant ungulae. Quod facile evitabimus,^ si 
aut stabula roboreis axibus constrata, aut diligenter 
subinde emundata fuerit ' humus, et paleae super- 

3 Plerumque iumenta morbos concipiunt lassitudine 
et aestu, nonnunquam et frigore, et cum suo tempore 
urinam non fecerint ; vel si sudant, et a concitatione 
confestim biberint ; vel si, cum diu steterint, subito 
ad cursum extimulata sunt. Lassitudini quies 
remedio est, ita ut in fauces oleum vel adeps vino 
mixta infundatur. Frigori fomenta adhibentur, et 
calefacto oleo lumbi rigantur,^ caputque et spina 

4 tepenti adipe vel uncto liniuntur. Si urinam non 
facit, eadem fere remedia sunt. Nam oleum immix- 
tum vino supra ilia et renes infunditur : et si hoc 
parum profuit, melle decocto et sale coUyrium tenue 

1 all A^Ji : alii SAK 

* praebeat A : preheat SR. 

' paleae — substernandae om. SAE. 

* pecudum SA^E : pedum A^. 
^ conservare S : servare AR. 

* evitabimus A^R : evitavimus SA^. '' fuerint SAR. 

* superiactae S : superiecta AR. 

* et — rigantur om. AR. 


BOOK VI. XXX. 1-4 

drink, and then by degrees foods of this kind must be 
reduced by mixing bran with barley until it be- 
comes accustomed to a diet of beans and pure barley. 
The bodies of horses require a daily rubbing down 
just as much as those of human beings, and often to 
massage a horse's back with the pressure of the hand 
does more good than if you were to provide it most 
generously with food. Chaff ought to be spread on 
the ground where horses stand. It is also very im- 2 
portant to maintain the vigour in their bodies and 
feet ; we shall secure both these objects if we conduct 
the herd at suitable times to their stable, to their 
watering-place and to exercise, and if care is taken 
that they are stabled in a dry place, so that'their hoofs 
are not wetted. This we shall easily avoid if the 
stable is floored with boards of hard wood, or if the 
ground is carefully cleaned from time to time and 
chaff thrown over it. 

Beasts of burden generally fall ill from fatigue or 3 
from the heat, and sometimes also from the cold and 
when they have not passed urine at the proper time, 
or if they sweat and then drink immediately after 
having been in violent motion, or when they are 
suddenly spurred into a gallop after they have 
stood for a long time. Rest is the cure for 
fatigue, provided that oil or fat mixed with wine is 
poured down the throat. For a chill, fomentations 
are applied, and the loins moistened with heated oil, 
and the head and spine soaked with tepid fat or 
ointment. If the animal does not pass urine, the 4 
remedies are almost the same ; for oil mixed with 
wine is poured over the flanks and loins, and if this 
has not produced the desired effect, a small sup- 
pository made of boiled honey and salt is applied to 



inditur foramini,! quo manat urina,^ vel musca viva, 
vel turis mica, vel de bitumine collyrium inseritur 
naturalibus. Haec eadem remedia adhibentur, si 

5 urina genitalia deusserit. Capitis dolorem indicant 
lacrimae, quae profluunt, auresque flaccidae ; et 
cervix cum capite aggravata, et in terram summissa. 
Tum rescinditur vena, quae sub oculo est, et os 
calda fovetur, ciboque abstinetur primo die. Inde 
postero autem potio ieiuno tepidae aquae praebetur 
ac viride gramen,tum vetus faenum vel molle stramen- 
tum substernitur, crepusculoque aqua iterum datur, 
parumque hordei cum vicialibus, ut per exiguas 

6 potiones ^ cibi ad iusta perducatur. Si equo maxillae 
dolent, calido aceto fovendae, et axungia vetere 
confricandae sunt, eademque medicina tumentibus 
adhibenda est. Si armos laeserit, aut sanguinem 
demiserit,^ medio fere in utroque crure ^ venae 
solvantur, et thuris polline cum eo qui profluit 
sanguine immixto, armi linantur, et ne plus iusto 
exanimetur, stercus ipsius iumenti fluentibus venis 
admotum ^ fasciis obligetur. Postero quoque die 
ex iisdem locis ' sanguis detrahatur, eodemque mode 
curetur, et® hordeo abstineatur exiguo faeno date. 

7 Post triduum deinde usque in diem sextum porri 
succus instar trium cyathorum mixtus cum olei 

* forainini S : -a AR. 

^ manat urina S : maturina AB. 

' exiguas potiones S : exigua potione (portione A^) A^. 

* demiserit S : di- AR. 

* crure A^c : cruore SA^R. 

* admotum A^R : -am 8A^. 

' locis om. AR. » g^ q^ jiji 


BOOK VI. XXX. 4-7 

the orifice from which the urine flows, or a hve fly or 
a grain of incense or a suppository of bitumen is in- 
serted in the genital organs. The same remedies 
will be applied, if the urine has scalded these organs. 
Head-aches are indicated by tears which flow from 5 
the eyes and the hanging down of the ears, and the 
neck and head which are weighed down and droop 
towards the ground. In these circumstances the vein 
under the eyes is opened and the mouth fomented 
with hot water and the animal is kept away from food 
for the first day. Then on the next day, before it 
has eaten anything, it is given a drink of tepid water 
and some green grass ; then a litter of old hay or soft 
straw is spread under it and, at dusk, water is again 
given and a little barley with haulm of vetch, so that 
by means of small doses the animal may be brought 
back to regular forms of food. If a horse's jaws 
give it pain, they should be fomented with hot 6 
vinegar and rubbed with old axle-grease, and 
the same remedy should be applied if the jaws are 
swollen. If it has damaged its shoulders or has had an 
extravasation of blood to these parts, the veins some- 
where near the middle of each leg should be opened 
and the shoulders should be anointed with a mixture 
of incense-dust and the blood which flows from the 
wound, and, that the animal may not be unduly 
weakened, some of its own ordure should be applied 
to the bleeding veins and bound with bandages. On 
the following day blood should again be drawn from 
the same places and the same treatment given, and 
the animal should be kept away from barley and only 
given a little hay. After three days and until the 7 
sixth day the juice of a leek to the quantity of about 
three cyathi mixed with a hemina of oil should be 



hemina faucibus per cornu infundatur. Post sextum 
diem lente ingredi cogatur, et cum ambulaverit, in 
piscinam demitti eum conveniet, ita ut natet : sic 
paulatim firmioribus cibis adhibitis ^ ad iusta per- 

8 ducetur. At si bilis molesta iumento est, venter 
intumescit, nee emittit ventos, manus uncta inseritur 
alvo, et obsessi naturales exitus adaperiuntur, 
exemptoque stercore postea ^ cunila bubula et 
herba pedicularis cum sale trita et decocto ^ melli 
miscentur, atque ita facta collyria subiciuntur, quae 

9 ventrem movent, bilemque omnem deducunt. Qui- 
dam myrrhae tritae quadrantem cum hemina vini 
faucibus infundunt, et anum * liquida pice oblinunt. 
Alii marina aqua lavant alvum, alii recenti muria. 

Solent etiam vermes atque ^ lumbrici nocere in- 
testinis ; quorum signa sunt, si iumenta cum dolore 
crebro volutantur, si admovent caput utero, si caudam 
saepius iactant. Pracsens medicina est, ita ut 
supra scriptum est, inserere ^ manum, et fimum 
eximere ; deinde alvum marina aqua vel muria dura 
lavare, postea radicem capparis tritam cum sextario 
aceti '' faucibus infundere ; nam hoc modo praedicta 
intereunt animalia. 

XXXI. Omni autem imbecillo pecori alte sub- 
sternendum est, quo mollius cubet. Recens tussis 
celeriter sanatur, pinsita lente et a valvulis separata 
minuteque molita. Quae cum ita facta sunt, 

^ adivitis iS^^^ : adiutus i? : adibitis 5*. 

* posite acunila S : posita ea AE. 
' decoctos SA : -a R. 

* anura S'a : annu <S* : annul A. 
' in qua 8AR. 

* insero iS^. 

' aceti S : cum aceto AR. 


BOOK VI. XXX. 7-xxxi. i 

poured down its throat through a horn. After the 
sixth day it should be made to walk slowly and, after it 
has taken this exercise, it will be a good plan to drive 
it into a pond so that it may swim ; then, by the 
administration by degrees of a more solid diet, it will 
be brought back to normal conditions. If a horse is 8 
troubled by bile and its belly swells and it cannot get 
rid of wind, the hand is greased and inserted into its 
bowel and the natural exits which have been 
blocked are opened up ; afterwards, when the ordure 
has been removed, ox-marjoram and lousewort 
crushed up with salt are mixed with boiled-down 
honey, so as to form a suppository, and inserted from 
below ; these move the belly and bring away all 
the bile. Some people pour down the throat a 9 
quadrans of ground myrrh in a hemina of wine and 
anoint the anus with liquid pitch ; others wash out the 
bowel with sea-water, still others with fresh brine. 

Tape-worms and maw-worms, too, often do harm 
to the intestines. It is a sign of their presence when 
horses roll about on the ground in internal pain or 
bring heads near their bellies or frequently flick their 
tails. An efiicacious remedy is that described above, 
namely, the insertion of the hand and the removal 
of ordure followed by the washing out of the bowel 
with salt water or hard brine, and afterwards the 
pouring down the throat of the root of the caper- 
tree ground up with a sextarius of vinegar ; for by 
this ntiethod the animals mentioned above are killed. 

XXXI. When any animal is sick, deep litter must Kemedies 
be provided, so that it may have a softer resting- *"'' ^ ''°'^g^ 
place. A cough which has only just begun is 
quickly cured with crushed lentils separated from 
the pods and pounded into minute fragments. When 



sextarius aquae calidae in eandem mensuram lentis 
miscetur, et faucibus infunditur ; similisque medicina 
triduo adhibetur, ac viridibus herbis cacuminibusque 
arborum recreatur aegrotum pecus. Vetus autem 
tussis discutitur porri succo trium cyathorum cum 
olei hemina compluribus diebus ^ infuso, iisdemque, 
ut supra monuimus, cibis praebitis. 

2 Impetigines et quicquid scabiei est ^ aceto et alu- 
mine defricantur. Nonnunquam, si haec per- 
manent, paribus ponderibus mixtis nitro et scisso 
alumine cum aceto linuntur. Papulae ^ ferventissimo 
sole usque eo strigile raduntur, quoad eliciatur 
sanguis. Tum ex aequo miscentur radices agrestis 
hederae,* sulfurque et pix liquida cum alumine. Eo 
medicamine praedicta vitia curantur. 

XXXII. Intertrigo bis in die subluitur aqua calida. 
Mox decocto ac trito sale cum adipe defricatur, dum 
sanguis emanet. Scabies mortifera huic quadru- 
pedi est, nisi celeriter succurritur : quae si levis est, 
inter initia candenti ^ sub sole vel cedro ^ vel oleo 
lentisci linitur vel urticae semine et oleo detritis vel 
unguine ceti, quod in lancibus salitus thynnus re- 

2 mittit. Praecipue tamen huic noxae salutaris est 
adeps marini vituli. Sed si iam inveteraverit, vehe- 
mentioribus opus est remediis. Propter quod bitu- 
men, et sulfur,' et veratrum ^ pici liquidae axungiae- 
que vetere ^ mixta pari pondere incoquuntur, atque 

' diebus add. Lvndstrom. 

^ scabiei est Ltcndstrom : scabies SAB. 

* pabulo SA^R : papulae A^. 

* herhe SAR. 

* candentis SAR. 

* cedro S : cedre A R. 

' sulpure S^A : sulphure S^R. 

* veratro SAR. » veteri R : veterio SA. 


BOOK VI. XXXI. i-xxxii. 2 

this has been done, a sextarius of hot water is mixed 
with the same quantity of lentils and poured down the 
animal's throat ; the same treatment is continued 
for three days and the sick animal is strengthened 
by a diet of green grass and tree-tops. A cough of 
long standing can be dispelled by pouring down the 
throat on several days three cyathi of leek-juice in 
a hemina of oil and providing the same diet as we 
have prescribed above. 

Skin-eruptions and any form of scab are rubbed with 2 Remedy f 
vinegar and alum. Sometimes, if these sores persist, eases. '^ 
they are anointed with equal quantities of soda and 
split alum mixed together in vinegar. Pustules are 
scraped with a curry-comb in very hot sunlight until 
blood is made to flow, then equal portions of the root 
of wild ivy, sulphur and liquid pitch are mixed with 
alum. The aforesaid ailments are treated with this 

XXXII. Sores due to chafing are washed twice a Remedies 
day with hot water, and then they are rubbed with and'^scabkl. 
salt powdered and boiled with fat until the blood 
flows. Scabies is fatal to this kind of quadruped, 
unless help is speedily given. If the attack is only 
slight, in the first stages the sores should be anointed 
in burning sunlight with cedar-oil or mastic-gum or 
nettle seed and oil crushed together or the fish-oil 
which is deposited on dishes by salted tunnies. The 2 
fat of the sea-calf is particularly efficacious against 
this malady. If, however, the trouble is of long 
standing, more violent remedies are needed ; and so 
bitumen and sulphur and hellebore mixed with 
liquid pitch and stale axle-grease in equal quantities 
are boiled together, and the patients treated with 
this preparation, the sores having been previously 



ea compositione curantur, ita ut prius scabies ferro 
3 erasa perluatur urina. Saepe etiam scalpello usque 
ad vivum resecare et amputare scabiem profuit, 
atque ita factis ulceribus mederi liquida pice atque 
oleo, quae expurgant et replent vulnera. Quae ^ 
cum expleta sunt, ut celerius cicatricem et pilum 
ducant,^ maxime proderit fuligo ex aeno ulceri 

XXXIII. Muscas quoque vulnera infestantes sum- 
movebimus pice et oleo vel unguine infusis. Cetera 
ervi farina recte curantur. Cicatrices oculorum 
ieiuna saliva et sale defricatae ^ extenuantur : vel 
cum fossili * sale trita sepiae testa, vel semine 
agrestis ^ pastinacae pinsito et per linteum super 

2 oculos expresso. Omnisque dolor oculorum in- 
unctione succi plantaginis cum melle acapno,® vel si 
id non est, utique thymino celeriter levatur. Non- 
nunquam etiam per nares profluvium sanguinis 
periculum attulit, idque repressum est infuso naribus 
viridis coriandri succo. 

XXXIV. Interdum et fastidio ciborum languescit 
pecus. Eius remedium est genus seminis quod git ' 
appellatur, cuius duo cyathi triti diluuntur olei 
cyathis tribus et vini sextario, atque ita faucibus 
infunduntur. Sed^ nausea discutitur etiam, si caput 
alii tritum cum vini hemina saepius potandum prae- 
beas. Suppuratio melius ignea lamina quam frigido 
ferramento reseratur, et expressa postea linamentis 

^ aquae cum S : aeque quae cum AR. 

* ducat SAM : ducant o. 

* defricata AE : defricta S. * fossili 8 : fusili AE. 

* agrestibus SAE. * acaprio SAE. 

"> git S: gis AE. « sed a : det 8^ A. 

' Roman coriander {Nigella saliva). 

BOOK VI. XXXII. 2-xxxiv. i 

scraped with a knife and thoroughly washed with 
urine. Often, too, it has been found beneficial to 3 
cut the scab to the quick with a lancet and remove 
it and to treat the resulting sores with liquid pitch 
and oil, which both cleanse the wounds and cause 
them to fill up ; when they have filled, soot from a 
brazen vessel rubbed into the sore will be found 
most beneficial in causing the wounds to scar over 
and grow hair. 

XXXIII. We shall get rid of the flies which infest Remedies 
wounds by pouring on them pitch and oil or fat. The andXr paia 
other kinds of sores are correctly treated with the '" t'le eyes. 
flour of bitter-vetch. Scars on the eyes are reduced 

by rubbing with fasting spittle and salt or with the 
shell of a cuttle-fish pounded up with mineral salt or 
with the seed of the wild parsnip crushed and 
squeezed through linen over the eyes. Any kind of 2 
pain in the eyes is quickly alleviated by anointing 
them with the juice of the plantain mixed with honey 
obtained without smoking out the bees, or, if this 
is not available, at any rate with thyme-honey. 
Sometimes bleeding at the nose has proved dangerous 
and has been stopped by pouring the juice of green 
coriander into the nostrils. 

XXXIV. A horse sometimes languishes through Remedies 
distaste for food. The remedy for this is a kind of In^Tm?-* 
seed called git,°' two cyathi of which are crushed and elation. 
dissolved in three cyathi of oil and one sextarius of 

wine and poured down the throat. Nausea can also 
be stopped by frequently giving the animal a bruised 
head of garlic in a hemina of wine to drink. It is 
better to open up an abscess with a red-hot metal 
plate than with a cold iron instrument, and when the 
pus has been squeezed out, it is dressed with lint. 



2 curatur. Est etiam ilia pestifera labes, ut intra 
paucos dies equae subita macie et deinde morte 
corripiantur : quod cum accidit, quarternos sextarios 
gari singulis per nares infundere utile est, si 
minoris formae sunt : nam si maioris, etiam congios. 
Ea res omnem pituitam per nares elicit, et pecudem 

XXXV. Rara quidem, sed et haec est equarum 
nota 1 rabies, ut cum in aqua imaginem suam vid^rint, 
amore ^ inani capiantur, et per hunc oblitae pabuli, 
tabe cupidinis intereant. Eius vesaniae ^ signa sunt, 
cum per pascua veluti extimulatae concursant, sub- 
inde ut circumspicientes requirere * ac desiderare 

2 aliquid videantur. Mentis error discutitur, si de- 
cidas inaequaliter comas equae et eam ^ deducas ad 
aquam. Tum demum speculata ^ deformitatem 
suam, pristinae imaginis abolet ' memoriam. 
Haec de universe equarum genere satis dicta sunt. 
Ilia proprie praecipienda sunt iis ® quibus mularum 
greges curae est submittere. 

XXXVI. In educando genere mularum antiquissi- 
mum est diligenter exquirere atque explorare 
parentem futurae prolis feminam et marem : quorum 
si alter alteri * non est idoneus, labat etiam quod ex 

2 duobus fingitur. Equam convenit quadrimam ^" 
usque in annos decern amplissimae atque pulcher- 

^ nota S : non AR. 

* amore S : more AR. 

' vasae sapiae A : vase sapie SR. 

* requirit S : requirit AR. 

' decidas — eam emend. Lundstrom praeeunle Svennungxo. 

* speculatae ed. pr. : speculata codd. 
' abolent ed. pr. : abolet codd. 

» his SA. 

* alter alteri Schneider : alteri SAR. 


BOOK VI. XXXIV. i-xxxvi. 2 

There is also a pestilential malady the effect of which 2 
is that mares are attacked with sudden emaciation 
and carried off by death in the course of a few days. 
When this comes on, it is beneficial to pour four 
sextarii of fish-pickle into the nostrils of each victim 
if it be of small stature, one congius if it be of larger 
size. This remedy draws away all the phlegm 
through the nostrils and purges the animal. 

XXXV. There is a form of madness which comes Madness in 
over mares and is rare but remarkable, namely, that, ™^''®s- 

if they have seen their reflexion in the water, they 
are seized with a vain passion and consequently forget 
to eat and die from a wasting disease due to love. It 
is a sign of this form of insanity when they rush about 
over their pastures as though they were goaded on 
and at times seem to be looking about them and seek- 
ing and missing something. This delusion is dis- 
pelled if you cut off her mane unevenly and lead 
her down to the water ; then beholding at length 2 
her own ugliness, she loses the recollection of the 
picture which was formerly before her eyes. What 
I have now remarked with regard to mares in general 
must suffice ; special instructions must now be given 
for those who devote themselves to breeding droves 
of mules. 

XXXVI. For the rearing of mules it is of the Mules and 
utmost importance to seek out and examine the male ^^^ '"*®*^" 
and female which are to be the parents of the future 
offspring ; for if one of them is not suitable to the 

other, the result of their union is a failure. A mare 2 
should be chosen which is between four and ten years 
of age, physically very big and handsome, with stout 

^^ quadrituam Schneider : quamam S : quam am A : 
quoniam R. 



rimae formae, membris fortibus, patientissimam 
laboris eligere, ut discordantem utero suo generis 
alieni stirpem insitam facile recipiat ac perferat, et 
ad fetum ^ non solum corporis bona, sed et ingenium 
conferat. Nam cum difficulter iniecta genitalibus 
locis animentur semina, turn etiam concepta diutius 
in partum adolescunt, atque ^ peracto anno mense 
tertiodecimo vix eduntur, natisque inhaeret plus 

3 socordiae paternae quam vigoris materni. Verumta- 
men equae dictos ut in usus minore cura reperiuntur,' 
maior est labor eligendi maris * : quoniam saepe 
iudicium probantis frustratur experimentum. Multi 
admissarii specie tenus mirabiles pessimam ^ sobo- 
lem forma ^ vel sexu ' progenerant. Nam sive 
parvi corporis feminas fingunt, sive etiam speciosi 
plures mares quam feminas, reditum patrisfamiliae 
minuunt. At quidam contempti ab aspectu pre- 
tiosissimorum seminum feraces sunt. Nonnun- 
quam aliquis generositatem suam natis exhibet, sed 
hebes in voluptate rarissime ^ solicitatur ad venerem. 

4 Huiusce sensum ^ magistri lacessunt i" admota ^^ 
generis eiusdem femina, quoniam similia similibus 
familiariora fecit natura. Itaque obiectu asinae cum 

^ ad fetum S : adfectum A. 

* atque edd. : utque SA . 

' cureperiuntur SA : reperiuntur ac, 

* magis SAR. 

^ mirabiles pessimam Ursinus : mirabilissimam SAB. 
9 formam SAR. ' sex SAR. 

* rarissime S : rarissimi AR. 

* sensum R : sensium SA, 
1" lacessunt S : om. AR. 

^^ admota S : subadmota A. 



limbs and well able to endure toil, that she may- 
receive and bear in her womb an alien offspring of 
another race planted within her and confer on her 
progeny not only her good physical qualities but 
also her natural disposition. For not only are the 
seeds, which are injected into the genital parts, with 
difficulty quickened into life but also after concep- 
tion they take longer to mature into the creature 
which is to be born, and it is only after the com- 
pletion of a year that in the thirteenth month the 
offspring is brought forth with difficulty, and more 
of the sluggishness of the father is inherent in the 
offspring than the vigour of the mother. Neverthe- 3 
less, while mares for breeding mules are less trouble 
to find, the task of selecting the male parent is 
greater, for often experience disappoints the judg- 
ment of the man who has to choose it. Many 
stallions which are admirable as far as appearance 
goes procreate offspring which are very inferior either 
in physique or sexual qualities — for if they produce 
she-mules of small size or more males than females 
of fine physique, they diminish the income of the 
proprietor of the estate — while some stallions which 
have been despised on account of their appearance 
are productive of the most valuable progeny. It 
sometimes happens that a stallion displays his high 
quality in his offspring but is sluggish in taking his 
pleasure and can be only very seldom induced to 
have intercourse. Owners of studs stimulate the 4 
senses of such a stallion by bringing up to him a 
female of the same race as himself,* since nature has 
made like more at home with like ; then, when by 

" I.e. an ass and not a mare. 



superiectum^ eblanditi sunt, velut incensum et 
obcaecatum cupidine, subtracta quam petierat, 
fastiditae imponunt equae. 

XXXVII. Est et 2 alterum genus admissarii fu- 
rentis in libidinem, quod nisi astu inhibeatur, afFert 
gregi perniciem. Nam et saepe vinculis abruptis 
gravidas inquietat et, cum admittitur, cervicibus 
dorsisque feminarum imprimit morsus. Quod ne 
faciat, paulisper ad molam vinctus amoris saevitiam 
labore ^ temperat, et sic veneri modestior admittitur. 

2 Nee tamen aliter admittendus est etiam clementioris 
libidinis, quoniam multum refert naturaliter sopitum 
pecudis ingenium modica exercitatione * concuti 
atque excitari, vegetioremque factum marem ^ 
feminae iniungi, ut tacita quadam ^ vi semina ipsa 
principiis "^ agilioribus figurentur. 

3 Mula ^ autem non solum ex equa et asino, sed ex 
asina et equo, itemque onagro et equa generatur. 
Quidam vero non dissimulandi auctores, ut Marcus 
Varro, et ante eum Dionysius ac Mago prodiderunt 
mularum fetus regionibus Africae adeo non pro- 
digiosos haberi, ut tam familiares sint incolis partus 

4 earum, quam sunt nobis equarum. Neque tamen 
uUum est in hoc pecore aut animo aut forma ^ prae- 

1 superiectum Lundstrom : -u 8AR. 

2 est et AR : et est 8. 

^ labore ed. pr. : laborare SAR. 

* exercitatione ed. pr. : excitatione SAR. 
^ marem a : mare SA ^R. 

* quadam ed. pr. : quadram SA. ' principis SA. 

* mula S : multa AR. * formam SA : forma a. 

' In the translation of this part of Columella, ass is the 
female donkey. 

» R.R., 11. 1. 27. « See Book I. 1. 10. 



putting the ass « in his way, they have lured on the 
stallion which has thrown himself upon her, while he 
is as it were inflamed and Winded by desire, they 
take away the ass, which he had wanted, and put 
him to the mare which he had scorned. 

XXXVII. There is another type of stallion which The breed- 
is mad to gratify his lust and brings ruin on the stud (conUnued)! 
unless cunning is used to restrain him, for he often 
breaks his bonds and disturbs the pregnant mares 
and, when he covers them, inflicts bites on their 
necks and backs. To prevent this he is harnessed for 
a time to a mill and tempers the fierceness of his 
passion with hard work and is only put to the mare 
when he has moderated his desires. Nor indeed 2 
should a stallion of milder passions be allowed to 
cover a mare under any other conditions, since it is 
very important that the naturally slumbering 
temperament of the animal should be stirred up and 
excited by moderate exercise and that the male 
should be put to the female when he has become 
more animated, in order that the seed itself, in 
virtue of some secret force, may be fashioned by 
more active elements. 

A mule can be bred not only from a mare and a 3 
donkey, but also from an ass and a horse, and further 
from a wild ass and a mare. Indeed some authors, 
who ought not to be passed over in silence, such 
as Marcus Varro * and, before him, Dionysius <^ and 
Mago, have related that in some regions of Africa 
the production of offspring by mules is so far from 
being considered a prodigy that their offspring is as 
familiar to the inhabitants as those born from mares 
are to us. There is, however, nothing in the way of 4 
a mule superior either in disposition or in form to 



stantius, quam quod seminavit asinus ^ quamvis ^ 
possit huic aliquatenus comparari ^ quod progenerat 
onager, nisi et indomitum, et servitio * contumax 
silvestris mores, strigosumque ^ patris praefert ^ 
habitum. Itaque eiusmodi admissarius nepotibus 
magis quam filiis utilior est. Nam ubi asina et 
onagro ' natus admittitur equae, per gradus infracta ^ 
feritate quicquid ex eo provenit, paternam ^ formam 
et modestiam, foi-titudinem celeritatemque avitam 
refert. Qui ex equo et asina concepti generantur, 
quamvis a patre nomen traxerint, quod hinni vocan- 
tur, matri per omnia magis similes sunt. Itaque 
commodissimum est asinum destinare mularum 
generi seminando, cuius, ut dixi, species experiment© 
est speciosior. Verumtamen ab aspectu non aliter 
probari debet, quam ut sit amplissimi corporis, 
cervice valida, robustis ac latis costis, pectore muscu- 
loso et vasto, feminibus lacertosis, cruribixs compactis, 
coloris nigri vel maculosi.^'' Nam murinus cum sit in 
asino vulgaris, tum etiam non optime respondet in 
mula. Neque nos universa quadrupedis species 
decipiat, si qualem probamus conspicimus. Nam 
quemadmodum arietum quae sunt in Unguis et 
palatis maculae, plerumque in velleribus agnorum 
deprehenduntur : ita si discolores pilos asinus in 

1 seminabituinsinus S : seminabitu in sinus A. 
- quamvis add. Lundstrom. 
' conpari S : comparari a. 

* servili SA . 

* mores trigo sunt quam 8Aa. 

* praefert Lundstrom : praeferrot SAR. 
' onagro S : onager AR. 

* infracta ed. pr. : infra et a SAR. 

* paternam S : -a AR. 

1" macilis AR : magilis S. 



that begotten by a male ass, though up to a certain 
point the progeny of a wild ass can be compared to 
it, except that, being both difficult to train and re- 
bellious against servitude, it exhibits the wild 
character and lean condition of its sire. A stallion, 
therefore, of this kind is more useful for the pro- 
duction of descendants in the second than in the first 
generation ; for, when the offspring of a she-ass and a 
wild ass is put to a mare, the ferocity of the wild 
animal has been broken down, and any offspring of 
this union reproduces the form and mild temper of 
its sire and the strength and quickness of its grand- 
sire. The progeny conceived and procreated from 5 
a horse and an ass, though they have derived their 
name of " hinny " from their sire," show in every 
respect a greater resemblance to their dam ; it is, 
therefore, most advantageous to choose a donkey as 
sire for a race of mules whose appearance, as I have 
said, is proved by experience to be handsomer. How- 6 
ever, from the point of view of appearance, it ought not 
to be approved unless it has an ample stature, a strong 
neck, robust and broad flanks, a vast and muscular 
chest, brawny thighs, solid legs and a black or spotted 
coat ; for a mouse-colour, as it is commonplace in a 
donkey, is not very suitable in a mule either. We 7 
must not let the general appearance of this quadruped 
deceive us if we see that it is such as we approve of; 
for just as the spots on the tongue and palates of rams 
are generally found repeated on the fleeces of the 
lambs which they sire, so if a donkey has different 
coloured hairs on its eyelids or ears, it often sires 
an offspring of diverse colouring also ; and this 

" Because their neighing {hinnitus) resembles that of a 



palpebris aut auribus gerit, sobolera ^ quoque fre- 
quenter facit diversi coloris, qui et ipse, etiam si 
diligentissime in admissario exploratus est, saepe 
tamen domini spem decipit. Nam interdum etiam 
citra praedicta signa dissimiles sui mulas fingit. 
Quod accidere non aliter reor, quam ut avitus color 
primordiis seminum mixtus ^ reddatur nepotibus, 

8 Igitur qualem descripsi asellum, cum est protinus ^ 
genitus, oportet matri statim subtrahi, et ignoranti 
equae subici. Ea ^ optime tenebris fallitur. Nam 
obscuro loco partu eius amoto, praedictus quasi ex 
ea natus alitur. Cui deinde cum decern diebus 
insuevit equa, semper postea desideranti ^ praebet 
ubera. Sic nutritus ^ admissarius equas diligere 
condiscit. Interdum etiam, quamvis materno lacte 
sit educatus, potest a tenero ' conversatus ^ equis 
familiariter earum consuetudinem appetere. Sed ei 

9 non oportet minori quam trimo inire permitti.^ Atque 
id ipsum si concedatur,^" vere fieri conveniet, cum 
et desecto viridi pabulo et largo hordeo firmandus, 
nonnunquam etiam salivandus erit. Nee tamen 
tenerae feminae committetur. Nam nisi prius ea 
marem cognovit,^^ adsilientem admissarium calcibus 
proturbat, et iniuria depulsum etiam ceteris equis 
reddit inimicum. Id ne fiat, degener ac vulgaris 

^ sobolem R : subole5M^: sobole 5^ 

* mixtus S : mixtu A . 

^ protinus Lundstrom : ptri A : ptris S : patri c. 

* ae 8A^ : ac A'E. 

* desideranti S : destinanti AR. 

* nutritus S : nutritur AR. 

'' potest a tenero >S' : potestate vero AR. 

* conversatus S : -ur AR. 

* inire permitti Lundstrom : inaremitti S : in are mitti A. 
*" concidatur SAR. 

** cognovit td. pr. : concivit SAR. 


colouring, although the stallion was most carefully- 
examined to see if it was present, is often a cause of 
disappointment to the owner. For sometimes also 
a stallion shapes mules very different from himself in 
respects other than the signs mentioned above. This, 
I think, occurs for no other reason than that the colour 
of the grandsire is transmitted to the second genera- 
tion mixed with the elements which form the seed. 

As soon as the foal of the ass, such as I have de- 8 
scribed, is brought to birth, it should be taken away 
from its mother and put under a mare who has no 
knowledge of it. This deception is best carried out in 
dark conditions ; for if her offspring has been taken 
away from her in a dark place and the aforesaid foal is 
put under her it is nourished by her as if it were her 
own offspring ; and then, when she has become accus- 
tomed to it for ten days, she henceforward always 
gives it her dugs whenever it wants to feed. The 
future stallion fed in this manner learns to have an 
affection for mares. Sometimes also, although it has 
been reared on its own mother's milk, if it has lived 
familiarly amongst mares from its tender years, it 
may well seek their company. It must not, how- 9 
ever, be allowed to cover them when it is less than 
three years old, and when it is permitted to do so, it 
will be well that intercourse should take place in the 
spring, since it will have to be fortified with chopped 
green fodder and an abundance of barley and some- 
times also given a drench. It ought not, however, 
to be put to a young mare ; for unless she has already 
had experience of a male, she repulses the donkey 
with her hoofs when he leaps upon her, and the affront 
which he has received inspires him furthermore with 
an aversion for all other mares. To prevent this, a 



asellus admovetur, qui solicitet obsequia feminae : 
neque is tamen inire sinitur. Sed, si iam est equa 
veneris patiens, confestim abacto viliore, pretioso 

10 mari^ subigitur.2 Locus est ad hos usus extructus, 
machinam vocant rustici, duos parietes adverse 
clivulo inaedificatos qui angusto intervallo sic inter 
se distant, ne femina conluctari aut admissario 
ascendenti avertere se possit. Aditus est ex utraque 
parte, sed ab inferior e clatris ^ munitus : ad quae * 
capistrata in imo clivo constituitur equa, ut et prona ^ 
melius ineuntis semina recipiat, et facilem sui tergoris 
ascensum ab editiore parte minori quadrupedi prae- 
beat. Quae cum ex asino conceptum edidit, partum 
sequenti anno vacua nutrit. Id enim utilius est, 
quam quod quidam faciunt, ut et fetam nihilominus 

11 admisso equo impleant. Annicula mula recte a 
matre repellitur, et amota montibus aut feris ^ locis 
pascitur, ut ungulas duret, sitque "^ postmodum longis 
itineribus habilis. Nam clitellis aptior mulus. Ilia 
quidem ^ agilior : sed uterque sexus et viam recte 
graditur, et terram commode proscindit, nisi si 
pretium quadrupedis rationem rustici onerat,* aut 
campus gravi gleba ^^ robora boum deposcit. 

1 maris SAR. 

2 subigitur S : iniungitur AR. 

3 Claris SAR. * quod SAR. 
^ pronam SAR. « seris SAR. 
' sique SA : sitque ac. * quod SAR. 
* onerant SAR. 

^^ gleba S : graebra A^ : craebra A^ : crebra R. 

Compare Chapter XIX above. 


BOOK VI. xxxvii. 9-1 1 

badly-bred, ordinary donkey is brought to seek her 
compliance; he should not, however, be allowed to 
cover her, but if the mare is inclined to submit to his 
desires, the more ignoble donkey is promptly driven 
away and the mare is covered by the valuable stallion. 
A special place is constructed for these purposes — 10 
the countryfolk call it a " machine " "—it consists of 
two lateral walls built into gently-rising ground, 
having a narrow space between them, so that the 
mare cannot struggle or turn away from the donkey 
when he tries to mount her. There is an entrance at 
each end, that on the lower level being provided with 
cross-bars, to which the mare is fastened with a halter 
and stands with her forefeet at the bottom of the 
slope, so that, leaning forward she may the better 
receive the insemination of the donkey and make it 
easier for a quadruped smaller than herself to mount 
upon her back from the higher ground. When the 
mare has given birth to a foal of which the donkey is 
the sire, she rears it during the following year with- 
out being with foal again. This method is better than 
that which some people follow, who cause her to be 
covered again by the stallion and to be with foal, 
although she has only just foaled. When a she-mule 11 
is a year old, it is right to take it away from its dam 
and put it to feed far away in the mountains or in 
wild places, so that it may harden its hoofs and 
presently be fit for long journeys. Now the male is 
better than the female mule for carrying a pack-saddle, 
whereas the latter is more nimble ; but both sexes 
step out well on a journey and are useful for breaking 
up the soil, unless the price of the animal is too 
burdensome an expense for the farmer, or a soil, being 
of heavy sod, demands the strength of oxen. 



XXXVIII. Medicinas huius pecoris plerumque iam 
in aliis generibus edocui: propria tamen quaedam 
vitia non omittam, quorum remedia subscripsi. 
Equienti mulae cruda brassica datur. Suspiriosae 
sanguis detrahitur, et cum sextario vini atque olei 
thuris semuncia marrubii succus instar heminae 

2 mixtus infunditur. Suffraginosae hordeacea farina 
imponitur, mox suppuratio ferro reclusa linamentis 
curatur, vel gari ^ optimi sextarius cum libra olei per 
narem sinistram demittitur, admisceturque huic me- 
dicamini trium vel quattuor ovorum albus liquor sepa- 

3 ratis vitellis. Flemina ^ secari, et interdum inuri 
Solent. Sanguis demissus ^ in pedes, ita ut in equis 
emittitur : vel si est herba, quam veratrum vocant 
rustici, pro pabulo cedit. Est et voaKvajxos, cuius 
semen detritum et cum vino datum praedicto vitio 

Macies et languor submovetur saepius data 
potione, quae recipit semunciam sulphuris ovumque 
crudum, et myrrhae pondus denarii. Haec trita 
vino admiscentur,* atque ita faucibus infunduntur. 

4 Sed et tussi dolorique veritris eadem ista aeque 
medentur. Ad maciem nulla res tantum quantum 
medica potest. Ea herba viridis celerius ^ nee tarde 
tamen arida faeni vice saginat iumenta : varum 

^ gari 8 : cari AR. 

* fiemina Litndslrom : femina 8AR. 
' demissus S : di- AR. 

* admiscetur SA. 

* celerius S : om. AR. 

" A kind of hellebore. * Medicago saliva, 



XXXVIII. Though, in dealing with other classes Bemedies 
of animals, I have already described most of the eas3s of '^ 
medicines which mules require, I will not omit to ^"les. 
mention certain maladies which are peculiar to these 
animals, the remedies for which I have here 
subjoined. If a mule is in heat, raw cabbage is 
administered ; if it is asthmatic, blood is drawn off 
and about a hemina of the juice of horehound mixed 
with a sexiarius of wine and half an ounce of oil of 
frankincense is poured down its throat. If it is suffer- 2 
ing from spavin, barley-flour is applied, and then the 
suppuration is opened with a lancet and dressed 
with lint, or else a sextarius of the best fish-pickle 
in a pound of oil is poured through the left nostril ; 
the whites of three or four eggs from which the 
yolks have been separated are mixed with this medica- 
ment. Blood-blisters round the ankles are usually cut 3 
and sometimes cauterized. When blood flows down 
into the feet, it is drawn off by the same method as is 
applied to horses, or, if the herb which the country- 
folk call veratrum " is available, it is given as fodder. 
Another remedy is henbane, the seed of which, 
crushed and administered with wine, cures this 

Emaciation and languor are dispelled by frequent 
potions containing half an ounce of sulphury a raw 
egg and a denarius weight of myrrh ; these are beaten 
up and mixed in wine and then poured down the 
animal's throat. The same ingredients serve equally 4 
well as a remedy for a cough and for pain in the 
stomach. For emaciation nothing is as efficacious as 
lucerne * ; this herb, when it is green, quickly fattens 
beasts of burden, and is not slow in doing so even 
when it is dry and used instead of hay, but it must be 




modice danda, ne nimio sanguine stranguletur pecus. 
Lassae et aestuanti mulae adeps ^ in fauces demitti- 
tur,2 vinumque ^ in os sufFunditur. Cetera exe- 
quemur in mulis sic, ut prioribus huius voluminis 
partibus tradidimus, quae curam bourn equarumque 

1 ad eos SA^R : adeps A^a. 

* demittitur S : di- AR. 

' virumque SA ^ -. vinumque a. 



given in moderation, lest the animal be choked by an 
excess of blood. When a mule is exhausted and feel- 
ing the heat, fat is thrust down its throat and wine 
poured into its mouth. In all other respects in 
dealing with mules we shall follow the method which 
we have prescribed in the earlier parts of this book 
which deal with the care of oxen and horses. 




I. De minore pecore dicturis, P. Silvine, princi- 
pium tenebit minor in ora ^ Arcadiae vilis hie vul- 
garisque asellus, cuius plerique rusticarum rerum 
auctores in emendis tuendisque iumentis praeci- 
puam rationem volunt esse ; nee iniuria. Nam 
etiam eo rure,^ quod pascuo caret, contineri potest, 
exiguo et qualicunque pabulo contentus. Quippe 
vel foliis spinisque vepraticis ^ alitur, vel obiecto fasce 
sarmentorum. Paleis vero, quae paene omnibus re- 
gionibus, abundant, etiam gliscit. 
2 Tum imprudentis custodis negligentiam fortissime 
sustinet : plagarum et penuriae tolerantissimus : 
propter quae tardius deficit, quam ullum aliud 
armentum. Nam laboris et famis maxime patiens 
raro morbis afficitur. Huius animalis tarn ■* exiguae 
tutelae plurima et necessaria opera supra portionem 
respondent, cum et facilem terram qualis in Baetica 
totaque Libye sit ^ levibus aratris ^ proscindat, et 

^ minor in ora Lundstrom : minor minora SAac. 
^ eorum re SAc : eo re a. 

' vepratici salitur S : vel pratici salitur A : vel prati his 
alitur a. 

* tam S : tamen Aac. 

* sit Aid. : si SAac, 

* aratis SA^. 



I. Since, Publius Silvinus, we are now about to deal The 
with the lesser farm- animals, our first subject shall 
be that cheap and common animal the lesser * ass 
from the region of Arcadia, to which the majority of 
writers on agriculture consider that particular 
attention should be paid when it is a question of 
buying and tending beasts of burden ; and they are 
quite right, for it can be kept even in a country which 
lacks pasturage, since it is content with very little 
fodder of any sort of quality, feeding on leaves 
and the thorns of brier-bushes, or a bundle of 
twigs which is offered to it; indeed it actually 
thrives on chaff, which is abundant in almost every 

Further, it endures most bravely the neglect of a 2 
careless master and tolerates blows and want most 
patiently ; for which reasons it is slower in breaking 
down than any other animal used for ploughing, for, 
since it shows the utmost endurance of toil and 
hunger, it is rarely affected by disease. The per- 
formance by this animal of very many essential tasks 
beyond its share is as remarkable as the very little 
care which it requires, since it can both break up with 
a light plough easily worked soil, such as is found in 
Baetica and all over Libya, and can draw on vehicles 

* I.e. the ass as compared with the mule. 



3 non minima pondera vehiculo trahat. Saepe etiam, 
ut celeberrimus poeta memorat : 

. . . tardi costas agitator aselli 
Vilibus aut onerat pomis, lapidemque revertens 
Incusum aut atrae massam picis urbe reportat. 

lam vero molarum et conficiendi frumenti paene 
solemnis est huius pecoris ^ labor. Quare omne ^ rus 
tanquam maxima necessarium instrumentum de- 
siderat asellum, qui, ut dixi, pleraque utensilia et 
vehere ^ in urbem et reportare cello vel dorse com- 
mode potest. Qualis autem species eius vel cura 
probatissima sit, superiore libre, cum de pretioso 
praeciperetur, satis dictum est. 

II. Pest huius * quadrupedis ovilli pecoris secunda 
ratio est, quae prima fit, si ad utilitatis magnitu- 
dinem referas. Nam id praecipue nos contra frigoris 
violentiam protegit, cerporibusque nostris liberaliora 
praebet velamina. Tum etiam casei lactisque 
abundantia non solum agrestes saturat, sed etiam 
elegantium mensas iucundis et numerosis dapibus 
2 exornat. Quibusdam vero nationibus frumenti ex- 
pertibus victum commodat, ex quo Nomadum 
Getarumque plurimi yaAa/CTOvroTat dicuntur. Igitur 
id pecus, quamvis mollissimum sit, ut ait prudentis- 
sime Celsus, valetudinis tutissimae est, minimeque 
pestilentia laborat. Verum tamen eligendum est ad 

^ pecoru SA^. * omnem SA^. 

• vehere ed. pr. : e vere 5 : vera A. * huius S : om. AR. 

<• Vergil, Qeorg. I. 273 ff. 

* I.e. the mule, treated in Book VI. Chapters XXXVI- 

* A tribe living north of the lower course of the Danube. 


BOOK VII. I. 2-II. 2 

loads which are far from being small. Often too as 3 
the most famous of poets says : 

The tardy donkey's driver loads its sides 

With cheap fruits and returning brings from town 

A hammered millstone or black lump of pitch.** 

This animal's almost invariable task at the present 
day consists in turning a mill and grinding corn. 
Every estate, therefore, requires a donkey as that 
might be called a necessary instrument, since, as I 
have said, it can conveniently convey to town and 
bring back most things that are required for use 
either with load on its neck or on its back. What 
kind of ass and what method of looking after it is 
most approved, has been sufficiently described in a 
previous book, where instructions have been given 
about the valuable type of animal.'' 

II. The importance of the sheep is secondary to Onthepur- 
that of the ass, though the sheep is of primary care of 
account if one has regard to the extent of its useful- sheep. 
ness. For it is our principal protection against the 
violence of the cold and supplies us with a generous 
provision of coverings for our bodies. Then, too, it 
is the sheep which not only satisfies the hunger of 
the country folk with cheese and milk in abundance 
but also embellishes the tables of people of taste 
with a variety of agreeable dishes. Indeed to some 2 
tribes, who have no corn, the sheep provides their 
diet ; hence most of the nomadic tribes and the 
Getae '^ are called the " Milk-Drinkers." Though the 
sheep, as Celsus most wisely remarks, is a very deli- 
cate creature, it enjoys sound health and suffers very 
little from contagious disease. Nevertheless a breed 
of sheep must be chosen to suit local conditions, a prin- 



naturam loci : quod semper observari non solum in 
hoc, sed etiam in tota ruris disciplina Vergilius 
praecipit, cum ait : 

Nee vero terrae ferre omnes omnia possunt. 

3 Pinguis et campestris situs proceras oves tolerat ; 
gracilis et collinus quadratas ; silvestris et montosus 
exiguas ; pratis planisque novalibus tectum pecus 
commodissime pascitur. Idque non solum generi- 
bus, sed etiam coloribus plurimum refert. Generis 
eximii Calabras, Apulasque et Milesias ^ nostri 
existimabant, earumque optimas Tarentinas. Nunc 
Gallicae pretiosiores habentur, earumque praecipue 
Altinates. Item quae circa Parmam et Mutinam 
macris stabulantur campis. Color albus cum sit 

4 optimus, tum etiam est utilissimus, quod ex eo 
plurimi fiunt, neque hie ex alio. Sunt etiam suapte 
natura pretio commendabiles ^ pullus atque fuscus, 
quos praebent in Italia PoUentia, in Baetica Corduba. 
Nee minus Asia rutilos,^ quos vocant epvOpaiovs. 
Sed et alias varietates in hoc pecoris genere docuit 
usus exprimere. Nam cum in municipium Gaditanum 
ex vicino Africae miri coloris silvestres ac feri arietes, 
sicut aliae bestiae, munerariis deportarentur, M. Colu- 
mella patruus meus acris vir ingenii, atque illustris 

^ miles SAac. * commendabilis SAac. 

3 lutilos -S^i. 

» Qeorg. II. 109. 

"" I.e. those which on account of the excellence of their wool 
are covered with skins to preserve their fleeces (Varro, R^R.^ 
II. 2. 19 : Horace, Od. II. C. 10). 

"^ A town near Venice. 

<' Both these towns were in Cisalpine Gaul, Mutina being the 
modem Modena. 


BOOK VII. II. 2-4 

ciple which ought always to be observed not only with 
regard to sheep but in every department of agricul- 
ture, as Vergil warns us, when he says : 

Nor can all kinds of land all things produce.*' 

A rich, flat country supports tall sheep, a lean and 3 
hilly region those of square build, while a wooded, 
mountainous land produces small sheep. " Coated " ^ 
sheep are best pastured in meadows and flat fallow 
ground. Not only the question of the kinds of 
sheep but also that of their colour are matters of 
great importance. Our farmers used to regard the 
Calabrian, Apulian and Milesian as breeds of out- 
standing excellence, and the Tarentine as the best of 
all ; now Gaulish sheep are considered more valuable, 
especially that of Altinum," also those which have 
their folds in the lean plains round Parma and 
Mutina.** While white is the best colour, it is also 4 
the most useful, because very many colours can be 
made from it ; but it cannot be produced from any 
other colour. By their very nature black and dark 
brown sheep also, which Pollentia « in Italy and 
Corduba/ in Baetica produce, are esteemed for the 
price which they command ; Asia likewise provides 
the red colour which they call " erythraean." Ex- 
perience has also taught the way to produce other 
variations of colour in this kind of animal. For when 
fierce wild rams of a marvellous colour were brought 
across amongst other wild beasts from a neighbouring 
district of Africa to the municipal town of Gades for 
those who were giving public shows, my uncle Marcus 
Columella, a man of keen intelligence and a dis- 

• A city of Liguria (the Italian Riviera), 
/ Cordova in Spain. 



agricola, quosdam mercatus, in agros transtulit, et 
5 mansuefactos tectis ovibus admisit. Eae primum 
hirtos,^ sed paterni coloris agnos ediderunt, qui 
deinde et ipsi Tarentinis ovibus impositi, tenuioris 
velleris arietes progeneraverunt. Ex his rursus 
quicquid conceptum est, maternam mollitiem, pater- 
num et avitum retulit colorem. Hoc modo Colu- 
mella dicebat, qualemcunque speciem, quae fuerit ^ 
in bestiis, per nepotum gradus mitigata feritate 
reddi. Sed ^ ad propositum revertar. 

Ergo duo genera sunt ovilli pecoris, molle et hirsu- 
tum. Sed in utroque vel emendo vel tuendo * plura 
communia, quaedam tamen sunt propria generosi, 
quae observari conveniat. Communia in emendis 
gregibus fere ilia : si candor lanae maxime placet, 
nunquam nisi ^ candidissimos mares legeris : quoniam 
ex albo saepe fuscus editur partus ; ex erythraeo vel 
pullo nunquam generatur albus. 

III. Itaque non solum ea ratio est probandi arietis, 
si vellere candido vestitur, sed etiam si palatum atque 
lingua concolor lanae est. Nam cum hae corporis 
partes nigrae aut maculosae sunt, pulla vel etiam 

^ hirtus Aid. : ortos SAR. 

* fuerint SAa : fuerunt c. 

' reddi sed S^ : reddis et S^ : reddisset Ac. 

* vel tuendo add. Lxindstrdm : om. SAR. 


BOOK VII. 11. 4-III. I 

tinguished agriculturist, bought some of them and 
transferred them to his estate, and, when he had 
tamed them, mated them with " coated " ewes. 
These produced in the first generation lambs with 
coarse wool but of the same colour as their sires. 
When these in their turn were coupled with Tarentine 5 
ewes, they produced rams with a finer fleece. All 
the descendants of these latter in their turn repro- 
duced the soft wool of their dams and the colours of 
their sires and grandsires. Columella used to claim 
that in this way whatever outward appearance the 
wild animals possessed was reproduced in the 
second and later generations of their descendants, 
while their savage nature was tamed. But I must 
return to my subject. 

There are then two kinds of sheep, the soft -fleeced 
and the shaggy-coated ; but, while there are several 
points common to both kinds when you are buying 
or looking after them, there are certain special 
characteristics of the well-bred sheep which it is well 
to observe. The following are generally the common 
points to be looked for when you are buying flocks : 
if whiteness of fleece is what pleases you most, you 
should never choose any but the whitest rams, for a 
dark lamb is often the offspring of a white ram, while 
a white lamb is never bred from a red or brown sire. 

III. And so, if a ram has a white fleece, this is not it- Oi ti^e 
self a reason for approving of it, but only if its palate rams?"^ ° 
and tongue are also of the same colour as its wool ; for 
if these parts of the body are black or spotted, the 
offspring is either dark or even parti-coloured. The 
same poet as I quoted above, amongst many other 

* nisi S : om. AB. 



varia nascitur proles ; idque inter cetera eximie 
talibus numeris ^ significavit idem qui supra : 

Ilium autem, quamvis aries sit candidus ipse,^ 
Nigra subest udo tantum cui lingua palato, 
Reice, ne maculis infuscet vellera pullis 

2 Una eademque ratio est in erythraeis et nigris arieti- 
bus, quorum similiter, ut iam dixi, neutra pars esse 
debet discolor lanae, multoque minus ipsa universitas 
tergoris maculis variet. Ideo nisi lanatas oves emi 
non oportet, quo melius unitas coloris appareat : 
quae nisi praecipua est in arietibus, paternae notae 
plerumque natis inhaerent.* 

3 Habitus autem maxime probatur, cum est altus 
atque procerus, ventre promisso atque lanato, cauda 
longissima, densique velleris, fronte lata, testibus 
iamplis, intortis cornibus : non quia magis hie sit 
utilis, (nam est melior mutilus aries) sed quia ^ minime 
nocent intorta potius, quam surrecta et patula cornua. 
Quibusdam ^ tamen regionibus, ubi caeli status 
uvidus ventosusque est, capros et arietes optaverimus 
vel amplissimis cornibus, quod ea porrecta ' altaque * 
maximam partem capitis a tempestate defendant.^ 

4 Itaque si plerumque ^'^ est atrocior hiems,^^ hoc genus 
eligemus : si clementior, mutilum probabimus ma- 
rem : quoniam est illud incommodum in cornuto, 

^ numeris ed. pr. : numeri SAae. 

* ipse S : ipsa Aac. * nascentium SAac. 

* inheret SAac. * quia S : qui Ac. 

* quibusdam S : quibus Aac. 

' profecto SAac. ^ altoque SAac. 

* defendant ed. pr. : defendat SAac. 
^'* plerum SAa. 

^1 hiems a, ed. pr. : hiomis SA. 



points, has expressed the same thing excellently in 
the following lines : 

But though the father-ram itself is white, 
If under his wet palate a black tongue 
Lurks, then reject it, lest with dusky spots 
It stain the fleeces of the future race." 

The same reasoning applies both to red and to black 2 
rams, in whom, likewise, as I said just now, neither 
the tongue nor the palate ought to be different in 
colour from the wool, still less should the whole skin 
be variegated with spots. Sheep, therefore, should 
never be bought unless they still have their wool on 
their backs, so that it may be easier to see that they 
are of one colour only, because, unless this is a 
prominent feature of the rams, the marks on the father 
generally persist in the offspring. 

The points which are most highly esteemed in a 3 
ram are breadth and height of stature, a belly which 
hangs down and is woolly, a very long tail, a thick 
fleece, a broad forehead, large testicles and curling 
horns — not because such a ram is more useful (for it is 
better without horns), but because horns do much less 
harm if they are curling than if they are up-standing 
and spreading. In some localities, however, where 
the climate is damp and windy, we should prefer that 
both he-goats and rams should have very large horns, 
because, being thus wide-spreading and lofty, they 
protect most of the head from the storm. So, if the 4 
winter generally tends to be severe, we shall choose 
rams of this type ; if it is milder, we shall prefer 
a ram which is hornless ; for there is this dis- 
advantage about a sheep with horns, that, being 

- ^ « Vergil, Georg. III. 387 ff. 



quod cum sentiat se velut quodam natural! telo ^ 
capitis armatum, frequenter in pugnam procurrit, et 
fit in feminas quoque procacior. Nam rivalem 
(quamvis solus admissurae non sufficit) violentissime 
persequitur, nee ab alio tempestive patitur iniri ^ 

5 gregem, nisi cum est fatigatus libidine. Mutilus 
autem, cum se tanquam exarmatum intelligat, nee 
ad rixam promptus est, et in venere mitior. Itaque 
capri vel arietis ^ petulci saevitiam pastores hac 
astutia repellunt. Mensurae pedalis robustam tabu- 
lam configunt aculeis, et adversam fronti cornibus 
religant. Ea res ferum prohibet * a rixa, quoniam 

6 stimulatum suo ictu ipsum se sauciat. Epicharmus 
autem Syracusanus, qui pecudum medicinas dili- 
gentissime conscripsit, affirmat pugnacem arietem 
mitigari terebra secundum auriculas foratis cor- 
nibus, qua curvantur in flexum. Eius quadrupedis 
aetas ad progenerandum optima est trima : nee 
tamen inhabilis usque in annos octo. Femina post 
bimatum maritari debet, iuvenisque habetur quin- 

7 quennis : fatiscit post annum septimum. Igitur, ut 
dixi, mercaberis ^ oves intonsas : ^ variam et canam ' 
improbabis, quod sit incerti coloris. Maiorem trima 
dente ® minacem sterilem repudiabis. Eliges bimam 
vasti corporis, cervice ^ prolixi villi, nee asperi, 

^ natural! t^lo S : naturate loco A. 

' inire ac : ini SA. ' arietis a : ariet«8 SA. 

* prohibet a : prohibita SA. 

* mercaberis ed. pr. : mercaveris S : mercaris Aac. 

* intonsas S : intonsis Aac. 

' calvamque Eichter : et canam prior, edd. 

* trima dente ed. pr. : trime dentem SAac. 

* cervi et SAac. 

» See note on Book I. 1. 8. 


conscious that its head is armed, as it were, with a 
natural weapon, it often rushes into the fray and also 
becomes too wanton towards the females. For 
(although it does not itself suffice to mate with the 
whole flock) it pursues its rival in the most violent 
manner and does not allow the flock to be covered at 
the proper time by any other ram, except when it is 
worn out by lust. On the other hand the hornless 5 
ram, since it realizes that it is, as it were, disarmed, 
is not prompt to quarrel and is milder in its amours. 
Shepherds, therefore, use the following ruse to check 
the brutality of a butting he-goat or ram : they fix 
spikes in a strong board a foot in length and tie it to 
the horns with the spikes facing the forehead. This 
prevents the animal, fierce though he may be, from 
quarrelling, because by his blow he pricks and 
wounds himself. Epicharmus,* the Syracusan, who 
has written a very careful treatise on remedies for 6 
cattle, declares that a pugnacious ram can be tamed 
by piercing its horns with a gimlet near the ears at 
the point where the horns bend into a curve. The 
best time for breeding from this animal is when it is 
three years old ; but it continues to be suitable up to 
eight years of age. The female ought to be mated 
after its second year and is still regarded as young at 
five years ; after its seventh year it becomes ex- 
hausted. You will, therefore, as I have said, buy 7 
ewes before they have been sheared and you will 
reject those which are parti-coloured or bald, because 
its colour can not be determined. You will refuse 
a sterile ewe which has passed its third year and has 
projecting teeth : you will select a two-year-old 
with a large frame, a neck covered with shaggy hair 
which is abundant but not coarse, and a woolly and 



lanosi et ampli uteri. Nam vitandus est glaber et 

8 Atque haec fere communia sunt in comparandis 
ovibus. Ilia etiam tuendis : humilia facere stabula, 
sed in longitudinem potius quam in latitudinem 
porrecta,! ut simul et hieme calida sint, nee angustiae 
fetus oblidant.2 Ea poni debent contra medium 
diem: namque id pecus, quamvis ex omnibus 
animalibus sit ^ vestitissimum, frigoris tamen im- 
patientissimum est, nee minus aestivi vaporis. 
Itaque cohors clausa sublimi macerie praeponi 
vestibulo debet, ut sit in eam tutus exitus aestuanti ; * 
deturque opera, ne quis humor consistat, ut semper 
quam aridissimis filicibus ^ vel culmis stabula con- 
strata sint, quo purius ^ et mollius incubent foetae, 
sintque ilia' mundissima, neque earum valetudo, 
quae praecipue custodienda est, infestetur uligine. 

9 Omnia autem pecudi larga praebenda sunt alimenta. 
Nam vel exiguus numerus, cum pabulo satiatur, 
plus domino reddit, quam maximus grex, si senserit 
penuriam. Sequeris autem novalia non solum her- 
bida, sed quae plerumque vidua sunt spinis ; utamur ^ 
emm saepius auctoritate divini carminis : 

Si tibi lanitium curae est, primum aspera silva 
Lappaeque tribulique absint; 

^ porrecta S : profectam A. 

* obligant SAac. ' sit 5 : om. AB. 

* aestuanti Richter : aestivandi prior, edd. 

* filicibus Sc : felicibus Aa. 
« plurius SAR. 

'' sint quala Gesner : sint quola SAac. 

* utamur ac : utantur c : utam S^A : utar S*. 

BOOK VII. HI. 7-9 

ample belly ; for a small and hairless ewe must be 

These are, roughly speaking, the general points 8 
which must be observed when you are buying sheep ; 
the following points must be observed in their 
management. Their folds should be built low and 
extended in length rather than in breadth, so that 
they may be warm in winter and also that lack of 
space may not cause the ewes to cast their young. 
They should be placed so as to face the mid-day sun ; 
for sheep, though naturally the best clothed of 
animals, can least endure cold, or summer heat 
either. For this reason a closed court with a high 
wall ought to be constructed in front of the entrance, 
so that there may be a safe way out for the animal 
when it is affected by the heat ; and care must 
be taken to prevent there being any standing water 
by always keeping their folds strewn with the driest 
possible fern or straw, so that the ewes after lambing 
may have something clean and soft on which to lie, 
and that the folds may be very clean, and that the 9 
health of the ewes, which must be specially guarded, 
may not be impaired by dampness. Sheep must be 
supplied with an abundance of every kind of food ; 
for even a small flock, if it is given its fill of fodder, 
brings its owner a bigger return than a very large one 
which has suffered from want. You must look for 
fallow land which is not only grassy but also for the 
miost part free from thorns ; for, to make our repeated 
appeal to the authority of inspired poesy," 

If wool is your desire, above all else 

Avoid the prickly woods and burs and caltropses. 

• Vergil, Georg. III. 384 f. 



10 quoniam ea res, ut ait idem, scabras oves reddit, 

cum tonsis illotus ^ adhaesit 
Sudor, et hirsuti secuerunt corpora vepres : 

turn etiam quotidie minuitur lanae fructus,^ quae 
quanto prolixior in pecore concrescit, tanto magis 
obnoxia ^ est rubis, quibus velut hamis inuncata 
pascentium tergoribus avellitur. Molle vero pecus 
etiam velamen, quo protegitur, amittit,* atque id non 
parvo sumptu reparatur. 

11 Inter auctores fere constat, primum esse admis- 
surae tempus vernuni Parilibus,^ si sit ovis matura,^ 
sin vero ' feta, circa lulium mensem. Prius tamen 
haud dubie probabilius,^ ut messem vindemia,' 
fructum deinde vineaticum fetura pecoris excipiat, 
et totius autumni pabulo satiatus agnus ante mae- 
stitiam frigorum atque hiemis ieiunium confirmetur. 
Nam melior est autumnalis verno, sicut ait verissime 
Celsus ; quia ^'^ magis ad rem pertinet, ut ante aesti- 
vum quam hibernum solstitium convalescat : solus- 

12 que ex omnibus bruma commode nascitur. Ac si res 
exigit, ut plurimi mares progenerandi sint, Aris- 
toteles vir callidissimus rerum naturae praecipit 

^ inlutus S^A : inlotus S'. 

* fructus S : om. Aac. 

' obnoxia S : obnoxium Aac. 

* admittit SAc : amittit a. 

* Parilibus S : paribus Aac. 

* matura S : mature Aac. 

' sin vero ed. pr. : sincera SAac. 

* probabilis SAac. 

* mensem vindemiam SAa : messem vindemiam c. 
^° quia S : qui Aac. 



For, as the same poet says,* it causes scab in sheep, 10 

When after shearing sweat unwashen clings 
And prickly briers tear away their flesh. 

Moreover, the yield of wool is daily reduced, for the 
more abundantly it grows upon the animal, the more 
exposed it is to brambles, by which it is caught, as if 
by hooks, and torn from their backs as they feed. 
The sheep also loses the soft covering with which it 
is protected, and this can only be replaced at con- 
siderable expense. 

The authorities are in general agreement that the 11 
earliest time of the year at which the ewes should 
be mated is the spring, when the Parilia ^ is cele- 
brated, if the ewe has just reached maturity, but, if 
she has already produced a lamb, about the month of 
July. The earlier date is, however, undoubtedly 
preferable, so that, just as the vintage follows the 
harvest, so the birth of the lamb may succeed to the 
gathering in of the grapes, and the lamb, having 
enjoyed its fill of food during the whole autumn, may 
gain strength before the gloomy cold season and the 
short rations of winter come on. For an autumn lamb is 
superior to a spring lamb, as Celsus very truly remarks, 
because it is more important that it should grow 
strong before the summer solstice than before the 
winter solstice, and it alone of all animals can be born 
without risk in mid-winter. If circumstances require 12 
that more males than females should be produced, 
Aristotle," that shrewd researcher into natural 

« Vergil, Georg. III. 443. 

* The feast of Pales, tutelary goddess of sheep and 
shepherds, which was celebrated on April 18th. 
« De Gen. Anim., 766, 35 ff. 



admissurae tempore observare siccis diebus halitus 
septentrionales, ut ^ contra ventum gregem pasca- 
mus, et eum spectans admittatur pecus : at si feminae 
generandae sunt, austrinos flatus captare, ut eadem 
ratione ^ matrices ineantur. Nam illud, quod priore 
libro docuimus, ut admissarii dexter vel etiam sinister 
vinculo testiculos obligetur, in magnis gregibus 
operosum est. 

13 Post feturam deinde longinquae regionis opilio 
villicus fere omnem sobolem pastioni ^ reservat ; sub- 
urbanae, teneros agnos, dum adhuc herbae sunt 
expertes, lanio tradit, quoniam et parvo sumptu 
devehuntur, et iis submotis, fructus lactis ex matribus 
non minor ^ percipitur. Submitti tamen etiam in 
vicinia urbis quintum quemque ^ oportebit. Nam 

14 vernaculum pecus peregrino longe est utilius : nee 
committi debet, ut ^ totus grex effetus ' senectute 
dominum destituat : cum praesertim boni pastoris 
vel prima cura sit annis omnibus in demortuarum 
vitiosarumque ovium locum totidem vel etiam plura 
capita substituere : quoniam saepe frigorum atque 
hiemis saevitia pastorem decipit, et eas oves ^ in- 
terimit, quas ille tempore autumni ratus adhuc esse ^ 

15 tolerabiles, non submoverat. Quo magis etiam 
propter hos casus, nisi quae validissima ^° non ^^ com- 

1 et SAac. 

* ratione a : -em SA. 
' pastioni 8 : -e Aac. 

* minor ac : mino A : orn. 8. 

* quicumq;^. • ut 5 : om. Aac. 
' eflectus Aac : effectu 8. 

* eas oves Aid. : exe ovis 8 : ex eo vix Aac. 

* esse aS* : essem 8^ A. 
'" validissimo SAac. 

^^ non Sa : anon A : anno c, 


BOOK VII. III. 12-15 

phenomena, advises that in the breeding season we 
should look out for breezes from the north on dry 
days, so as to pasture the flock facing this wind, and 
that the male should cover the female looking in that 
direction; if, on the other hand, female births are 
desired, we should seek for southern breezes, so that 
the ewes may be covered in the same manner. The 
device, which was described in the preceding book," 
of tying up the right or left testicle of the ram with a 
band, is difficult to carry out in large flocks. 

After the lambing season the bailiff in charge of 13 
the sheep on an outlying estate reserves almost all the 
young offspring for pasture ; and in a section near town 
hands over the tender lambs, before they have begun 
to graze, to the butcher, since it costs only a little to 
convey them to the town and also, when they have 
been taken away, no slighter profit is made out of 
the milk from their mothers. Even in the neighbour- 
hood of a town, however, one lamb in five will have to 
be left with its mother, for an animal born on the 
spot is much more profitable than one broiight from a 
distance, nor ought the mistake be made of letting 14 
the whole flock become exhausted by age and leave 
the owner without any stock, especially as it is the 
first duty of a good shepherd every year to substitute 
the same number of sheep, or even more, in place of 
those which have died or are diseased, since the 
severity of the cold and winter often surprises the shep- 
herd and causes the death of those ewes which he had 
failed to remove from the flock in the autumn because 
he thought them still able to stand the cold. These 
mishaps are also further reason why no ewe, unless it 15 
is very strorig, should be caught unprepared by winter 
"Book VI. 28. 



prehendatur hieme, novaque pi-ogenie repleatur 
Humerus. Quod qui faciet, servare debebit, ne 
minori quadrimae, neve ei, quae excessit annos octo, 
prolem submittat. Neutra enim aetas ad educan- 
dum est idonea : turn etiam quod ex vetere materia 
nascitur, plerumque congeneratum parentis senium ^ 

16 refert. Nam vel sterile vel imbecillum est. Partus 
vero incientis ^ pecoris non secus quam obstetricum 
more custodiri debet. Neque enim aliter hoe 
animal quam muliebris sexus enititur, saepiusque 
etiam, quando ^ est omnis rationis ignarum, laborat in 
partu. Quare veterinariae medicinae prudens esse 
debet pecoris magister, ut, si res exigat, vel integrum 
conceptum, cum transversus haeret locis genitalibus, 
extrahat, vel ferro divisum citra matris perniciem 
partibus educat,'* quod Graeci vocant efJL^pvovXKelv. 

17 Agnus autem, cum est editus, erigi debet, atque 
uberibus admjveri, tum ^ etiam eius diductum ^ os 
pressis humectare papillis, ut condiscat maternum 
trahere alimentum. Sed prius quam hoc fiat, exi- 
guum lactis emulgendum ' est, quod pastores colos- 
trum vocant : ea nisi aliquatenus emittitur, nocet 
agno qui primo biduo ^ quo natus est, cum matre 
claudatur, ut et ea pai-tum suum foveat, et ille ma- 

18 trem agnoscere condiscat. Mox deinde quamdiu non 
lascivit, obscuro et calido septo ^ custodiatur ; postea 

^ senium S^ : se nimiu S'^Ac. 

* incientis Ursinus : incipientis codd. 

* quanrlo Richter : quanto frior. edd. 

* educat 8 : ducat Aa : duca c. 
' tum S : cum Aac. 

* diductum S : de- Aac. 
' emulgendus SAac. 

8 primo biduo Heinsius ; moviduo /SMc. 

* septo Sa : septe Ac, 


BOOK VII. III. 15-18 

and why the number should be made up with 
young stock. Whoever is going to follow this 
system will have to take care not to put a lamb 
under a ewe which is less than four years or 
more than eight years old, for a ewe of neither of these 
ages is fit to bring up its young ; moreover, the off- 
spring of aged stock generally reproduces the qualities 
of old age inherited from its parents, being either 
sterile or weakly. The delivery of a pregnant ewe 16 
should be watched over with as much care as mid- 
wives exercise ; for this animal produces its offspring 
just in the same way as a woman, and its labour is 
often even more painful since it is devoid of all 
reasoning. Hence the owner of a flock ought to have 
some knowledge of veterinary medicine, so that, if 
circumstances require it, when the foetus becomes 
stuck crosswise in the genital organs, he may either 
extract it whole, or be able to remove it from the 
womb, after dividing it with a knife without causing 
the mother's death — an operation which the Greeks 
call embryulkein.'^ The lamb, when it has been 17 
brought forth, ought to be set upon its feet and put 
near its mother's udder ; then its mouth should 
be opened and moistened by pressing the mother's 
teats, so that it may learn to derive its nourishment 
from her. But, before this is done, a little milk should 
be drawn off, which shepherds call " biestings," for, 
if this is not to some extent extracted, it does harm 
to the lamb, which for the first two days after its 
birth should be shut up with its mother, so that she 
may cherish her offspring, and that it may learn to 
know her. Then, as long as it has not begun to frisk 18 
about, it should be kept in a dark and warm en- 

» I.e. extracting the embryo. 



luxuriantem virgea cum comparibus hara ^ claudi 
oportebit, ne velut puerili nimia exultatione maces- 
cat : cavendumque est, ut tenerior separetur a 

19 validioribus, quia robustus angit imbecillum, Satis- 
que ^ est mane prius quami grex procedat in pascua; 
deinde etiam crepusculo redeuntibus saturis ovibus 
admiscere agnos. Qui cum firmi esse coeperint,^ 
pascendi sunt intra stabulum cytiso, vel medica,* 
tum etiam furfuribus, aut, si permittat annona, 
farina hordei vel ervi : deinde, ubi convaluerint, circa 
meridiem pratis aut novalibus ^ villae continuis 
matres admovendae sunt, et septo emittendi agni, 
ut condiscant ® foris pasci. 

20 De genere pabuli iam et ante diximus, et nunc 
eorum, quae omissa sunt, meminerimus, iucundis- 
simas herbas esse, quae aratro proscissis arvis 
nascantur ; deinde quae pratis uligine carentibus ; 
palustres silvestresque minime idoneas haberi. Nee 
tamen ulla sunt tam blanda pabula, aut ' etiam 
pascua, quorum gratia ^ non exolescat usu continue, 
nisi pecudum fastidio pastor occurrerit praebito sale, 
quod velut ^ aquae ac pabuli condimentum per 
aestatem canalibus ligneis impositum, cum e pastu 
redierint oves, lambunt, atque eo sapore cupidinem 

21 bibendi pascendique concipiunt. At contra penuriae 

^ area SAac. 

* satisque S : atatimque A^ac. 

* coeperint A : cepeiunt S. 

* mediraedicatum S : medicatum A. 

* navalibus SA . 

^ condiscant c : -at SAa. 
'' aut S : ut Aac. 

* gratio S'^A : ratio S^. 

* velut aquae ac Lundstrom ; vel atquae ac S ; vel atq ; 
A Roc. 


BOOK VII. HI. 18-21 

closure ; afterwards, when it begins to be sportive, it 
will have to be shut up with the lambs of its own age 
in a pen fenced with osiers, so that it may not become 
thin from what we may call too much youthful 
frolicking, and care must be taken to separate a 
more tender lamb from the stronger ones, because the 
robust torments the feeble. It is enough to make this 
separation in the morning before the flock goes out to 
pasture, and then at dusk to let the lambs mingle with 19 
the ewes when they return home after eating their 
fill. When the lambs begin to get strong, they should 
be fed in the folds with shrub-trefoil or lucerne, and 
also ^vith bran, or, if the price permits, with flour of 
barley or of bitter-vetch. Afterwards, when they 
have reached their full strength, their mothers should 
be brought about mid-day to the meadows or fallow 
lands adjoining the farm and the lambs released 
from their pen, so that they may learn to feed outside. 

Concerning the nature of their food we have 20 
already spoken before and now call to mind what 
was not mentioned, namely, that the vegetation which 
is most acceptable is that which comes up when the 
fields have received their first ploughing ; the next 
best is that which grows in meadows which are free 
from marsh ; boggy and wooded lands are considered 
least suitable. There is, however, no fodder or even 
pasturage so agreeable that the pleasure which it 
gives does not grow stale with continuous use, unless 
the shepherd counteracts this aversion of his sheep 
by providing salt. This is placed in wooden troughs 
during the summer to serve as a kind of seasoning in 
their water and fodder and the sheep lick it up when 
they return from the pasture, and the taste of it 
makes them conceive a desire to eat and drink. But 21 



hiemis succurritur obiectis intra tectum per prae- 
sepia cibis. Aluntur autem commodissime repositis 
ulmeis vel ex fraxino ^ frondibus, vel autumnali faeno, 
quod cordum vocatur. Nam id mollius et ob hoc 

22 iucundius est, quam maturum, Cytiso quoque et 
sativa vicia ^ pulcherrime pascuntur. Necessariae 
tamen, ubi cetera defecerunt, etiam ex leguminibus 
paleae. Nam per se hordeum, vel fresa cum faba 
cicercula sumptuosior est, quam ut suburbanis 
regionibus salubri pretio ^ possit praeberi : sed 
sicubi vilitas ^ permittit,^ haud dubie ^ sunt optima. 

23 De temporibus autem pascendi, et ad ' aquam du- 
cendi per aestatem non aliter sentio, quam ut pro- 
didit Maro : 

Luciferi primo cum sidere frigida rura 
Carpamus, dum mane novum, dum gramina 

Et ros in tenera pecori gratissimus herba, 
Inde, ubi quarta sitim caeli coUegerit hora, 
Ad puteos, aut alta greges ad stagna . . . 

perducamus, medioque die, ut idem, ad vallem, 

Sicubi magna lovis antiquo robore quercus 
Ingentes tendit ramos, aut sicubi nigrum, 
Ilicibus crebris sacra nemus accubat umbra. 

24 Rursus deinde iam mitigato vapore compellamus 

^ fragino SA. 

^ vicia A : vitia Sac. 

' potio SAac. * si cubilitas SA. 

* perraittit S : mittit AB. 

• dubie S : dubium Aac. 
'' ad om. SAB. 


BOOK VII. in. 21-24 

on the other hand the lack of food in winter is relieved 
by putting food for them under cover in their folds. 
They can be most conveniently fed on leaves of elm 
or ash which have been kept in store or on autumn 
hay, which is called the " after-crop " ; for it is softer 
and therefore pleasanter than the early crop. Shrub- 22 
trefoil and cultivated vetch also make excellent 
fodder ; but, when all else has failed, chaff of dried 
pulse must be used as a last resort, for barley by itself 
or chickling-vetch crushed with beans is too ex- 
pensive to be provided at a reasonable price in dis- 
tricts near towns ; but, wherever their cheapness 
allows, they are undoubtedly the best food. As for 23 
the times at which sheep ought to be fed and taken 
to water during the summer, my opinion is the same 
as that delivered by Maro : 

At Lucifer's first rising let us haste 
To the cool fields, while yet the dawn is new, 
And turf still hoary, and on tender grass 
The dew is sweetest to the feeding herd. 
Then, when the sky's fourth hour brings thirst to all, 
Let's lead the flocks to wells and deep-dug 

and in the middle of the day, as the same poet says, 
let us conduct them to a valley. 

Where haply Jove's great oak with hardwood old 
Stretches its giant branches or a grove 
Black with thick holm-oaks broods with holy 
shade. '' 

Then, when the heat is abated, let us again conduct 24 

» VergU, Oeorg. III. 324 ff. » Ih., 332-334. 



ad 1 aquam — etiam per aestatem id faciendum est — 
et iterum ad pabula ^ producamus. 

Solis ad occasum, cum frigidus aera vesper 
Temperat, et saltus reficit iam roscida luna. 

Sed observandum est sidus aestatis per emersum 
Caniculae ut ante meridiem grex in occidentem 
spectans agatur et in eam partem progrediatur, 
post meridiem in orientem. Siquidem plurimum 
refert, ne pascentium capita sint adversa soli, qui 
plerumque nocet animalibus oriente praedicto sidere. 

25 Hieme et vere matutinis temporibus intra septa 
contineantur, dum dies arvis gelicidia detrahat. 
Nam pruinosa herba pecudi gravedinem ^ creat, 
ventremque * proluit. Quare etiam frigidis humi- 
disque temporibus anni semel die ^ potestas aquae 
facienda est. 

26 Turn qui sequitur gregem circumspectus ac vigilans 
(id quod omnibus et omnium quadrupedum custo- 
dibus praecipitur) magna dementia mioderetur ; 
Idemque ^ propior ' quia ^ silent, et in agendis re- 
cipiendisque ovibus adclamatione ac baculo minetur : 
nee unquam telum emittat in eas : neque ab his 
longius recedat : nee aut recubet,^ aut considat. 
Nam nisi procedit, stare debet, quandoquidem 

^,ad om. SAac. ^ in pabula S : pabulo AB. 

' glaudigine S : glaudinem A. 

* ventem quae S'^A ^ : ventrem S^. 

* die Ursinus : ei SA R. 

« -que add. ed. pr. ' proprior SAR. 

« -que 8AE. » recavet SAR. 

' Vergil, Oeorg. Ill, 336 f. 

' The text here gives no satisfactory sense and is certainly 
corrupt. The MS. reading proprior is meaningless and propior 


BOOK VII. HI. 24-26 

them to the Avater (and this must be done even in the 
summer) and again drive them back to the pasture, 

Till sun-set, when chill evening cools the air 
And Luna's dews the thirsty glades refresh.** 

But about the time when the Dogstar shows itself, 
we must carefully observe the position of the sun in 
summer, so that before mid-day the flock may be 
driven facing the west and may advance in that 
direction, but that after mid-day it may be driven 
towards the east, since it is of great importance that 
their heads, as they graze, should not face the sun, 
which is generally harmful to animals at the rising of 
the aforesaid constellation. In winter and spring 25 
the sheep should be kept in their pens during the 
morning hours until the sun removes the rime from 
the fields, for grass with hoar-frost upon it causes 
catarrh in cattle and loosens the bowels ; wherefore 
also in cold and damp seasons of the year they must 
be given the opportunity of drinking only once a day. 

He who follows the flock should be observant and 26 
vigilant — a precept which applies to every guardian 
of every kind of four-footed animal — and should be 
gentle in his management of them and also keep 
close to them, because they are silent,^ and when 
driving them out or bringing them home, he should 
threaten them by shouting or with his staff but never 
cast any missile at them, nor should he withdraw too 
far from them nor should he lie or sit down ; for 
unless he is advancing he should stand upright, because 
the duty of a guardian calls for a lofty and com- 

is scarcely better. A somewhat different line of thought is 
contained in the emendation idemque pronior quam silena 
suggested by Richter {Hermes LXXX, 213). 



custodis officium sublimem celsissimamque oculorum 
veluti speculam desiderat, ut neque tardiores et 
gravidas, dum cunctantur,^ neque agiles et fetas, 
dum procurrunt, separari ^ a ceteris sinat ; ne fur, 
aut bestia ^ hallucinantem pastorem decipiat. Sed 
haec communia fere sunt in omni pecore ovillo. 
Nunc quae sunt generosi propria dicemus. 

IV. Graeeum pecus, quod plerique Tarentinum 
voeant, nisi cum domini praesentia est, vix expedit 
haberi: siquidem et curam et cibum maiorem de- 
siderat. Nam cum sit universum genus lanigerum 
ceteris pecudibus mollius, tum ex omnibus Tarenti- 
num est mollissimum, quod nullam domini aut 
magistrorum ineptiam sustinet, multoque minus 
avaritiam; nee aestus, nee frigoris patiens. Raro 
foris, plerumque domi alitur, et est avidissimum cibi ; 
cui si quid * detrahitur fraude villici,^ clades sequitur 
gregem. Singula capita per hiemem recte pascuntur 
ad praesepia tribus hordei vel fresae cum suis valvulis 
fabae, aut cicerculae quattuor sextariis, ita ut et 
aridam frondem praebeas,^ aut siccam vel viridem 
medicam cytisumve, tum etiam cordi faeni septena 
pondo, aut leguminum paleas adfatim. Minimus 
agnis vendundis in hac pecude, nee uUus lactis re- 
ditus haberi potest. Nam et qui submoveri debent,' 
paucissimos post dies quam editi sunt, immaturi fere 

^ cunctantur a : cunctatur SAc. 

* separare SAR. 

* bestias A : bestius S. 

* si quid 5 : om. AR. 

' vilici 8a : vilicis Ac. 

* praebeat SAR. ^ debet SAac. 


BOOK VII. III. 26-iv. 3 

manding elevation from which the eyes can see as 
from a watch-tower, so that he may prevent the 
slower, pregnant ewes, through delaying, and those 
which are active and have already borne their young, 
through hurrying foi'ward, from becoming separated 
from the rest, lest a thief or a wild beast cheat the 
shepherd while he is day-dreaming. These precepts 
are of general application and apply to sheep of all 
kinds ; we will now deal with some points which are 
peculiar to the best breeds. 

IV. It is scarcely advantageous to keep the Greek " Coated ' 
breed, which most people call the Tarentine, unless ^^^®^p* 
the owner is constantly on the spot, since it requires 
more care and food than other kinds. For, while all 
the sheep which are kept for their wool are more 
delicate than the others, the Tarentine breed is 
particularly so, for it does not tolerate any careless- 
ness on the part of the owner or shepherd, much less 
niggardliness, nor can it stand heat or cold. It is 2 
seldom fed out of doors but generally at home, and is 
most greedy of fodder and, if the bailiff fraudulently 
abstracts any of the food, disaster overtakes the flock. 
During the winter, when the sheep are fed in their 
pens, a satisfactory diet per head is three sextarii of 
barley or of beans crushed with their pods, or four 
sextarii of chickling-vetch provided you also supply 
them with dried leaves or lucerne, dry or fresh, or 
shrub-trefoil ; also seven pounds of hay of the second 
crop is to their liking or plenty of pulse-chaff. Only 3 
a very small profit can be made by selling the lambs 
of this kind of sheep and no return from the ewes' 
milk; for the lambs which ought to be taken away 
from their mother a very few days after birth, are 
generally slaughtered before they reach maturity, and 


VOL. 11. K 


mactantur ; orbaeque natis ^ suis matres alienae 
soboli praebent ubera : quippe singuli agni binis 
nutricibus submittuntur, nee quiequam subtrahi 
submissis expedit, quo saturior lactis agnus celeriter 
confirmetur, et parta nutrici consociata minus 
laboret in educatione fetus sui. Quam ob causam 
diligenti cura servandum est, ut et suis quotidie 
matribus et alienis non amantibus agni subrumentur. 
Plures autem in eiusmodi gregibus quam in liirtis 
masculos enutrire oportet. Nam prius quam feminas 
inire possint mares castrati, cum bimatum exple- 
verunt,^ enecantur, et pelles eorum propter pulchri- 
tudinem lanae maiore pretio quam alia vellera 
mercantibus traduntur. Liberis autem campis et 
omni ^ surculo ruboque vacantibus ovem Graecam 
pascere meminerimus, ne, ut supra dixi, et lana 
carpatur et tegumen. Nee tamen ea minus sedulam 
curam foris, quia^ non quotidie procedit in pascua, 
sed maiorem^ domesticam postulat. Nam saepius 
detegenda et refrigeranda est : saepius eius lana 
diducenda, vinoque et oleo insuccanda, nonnunquam 
etiam tota est eluenda, si diei permittit apricitas : 
idque ter anno fieri sat est. Stabula vero frequenter 
everrenda et purganda, humorque omnis urinae 
deverrendus est, qui commodissime siccatur perfo- 
ratis tabulis, quibus ovilia consternuntur, ut grex 
supercubet. Nee tantum caeno aut stercore, sed 

^ nates SA : nate ac. 

^ expleverunt A-a : expleverint c : expluerunt iS^*. 

* omnis SA. 

* quia addidi. 


BOOK VII. IV. 3-6 

their dams, deprived of their own lambs, are given 
the oiFspring of others to suckle ; for each single 
lamb is put under two nurses and it is inexpedient 
that it should be deprived of any of their milk, that so, 
receiving a more satisfying quantity of milk, it may 
quickly grow strong, and that the ewe which has 
borne a lamb, having a nurse to share her duties, may 
have less difficulty in bringing her offspring up. There- 
fore you must be very careful to see that the lambs are 
daily put to the udders of their own mothers and also of 
strange ewes who have no maternal affection for them. 4 
But in flocks of this kind more males must be brought 
up than in those of coarse-wooUed sheep ; for the males 
are castrated before they can be mated, when they 
have completed two years, and are killed, and their 
skins sold to dealers at a much higher price than 
other fleeces because of the beauty of their wool. 
We shall remember to feed a Greek sheep on open 
fields free from all shoots and brambles, lest, as I have 
already said, its wool and its covering be torn away. 
Nor, because it does not go out to pasture every day, 5 
does it require less but more diligent care at home 
than out of doors ; for it must frequently be un- 
covered and allowed to cool and its wool pulled apart 
and soaked with wine and oil. Sometimes too the 
whole animal must be washed, if sunny weather 
allows it, but it is enough to do this three times a 
year. The fold must be frequently swept and 
cleansed and all moisture due to urine must be 
brushed away, the best method of keeping it dry 
being the use of boards with holes in them with 
which the sheep-folds are paved, so that the flock 
may lie down on them. The shelters must be free 6 

* maiorem ed. pr. : maioris SAac. 



exitiosis quoque serpentibus tecta liberentur: quod 
ut fiat, 

Disce et odoratam stabulis incendere cedrum, 
Galbaneoque agitare graves nidore chelydros. 
Saepe sub immotis praesepibus, aut mala tactu, 
Vipera delituit, caelumque exterrita fugit : 
Aut tecto assuetus coluber. 

Quare, ut idem iubet : 

cape robora, pastor, 
ToUentemique minas, et sibila colla tumentem 

Vel ne istud cum periculo facere necesse sit, mulie- 
bres capillos,^ aut cervina saepius ure cornua, 
quorum odor maxime non patitur stabulis praedic- 
tam pestem consistere. 

Tonsurae certum tempus anni per omnes regiones 
servari non potest, quoniam nee ubique tarde, nee 
celeriter aestas ingruit : et est modus optimus con- 
siderare tempestates, quibus ovis neque frigus, si 
lanam detraxeris, neque aestum, si nondum deton- 
deris,^ sentiat. Verum ea quandoque detonsa 
fuerit, ungi debet tali medicamine : succus excocti ^ 
lupini, veterisque vini faex, et amurca pari mensura 
miscentur, eoque liquamine tonsa ovis imbuitur,^ at 
que ubi per triduum dilibuto tergore medicamina ^ 

^ capillos S : capillus Aac. 

* detonseris c : detoderis S^ : detonderis S' : detodoris A, 
' excocti S^ : excoleti AS. 

* imbuitur A^B : inbitur S^ : imbitur A^. 
^ medicamina ^Z(2. : media <S^i2. 

" Galbanum was the resinous sap of an umbelliferous plant 
{Bitbon gcUbanum) growing in Syria. 


BOOK VII. IV. 6-8 

not only from mud and ordure but also from deadly 
snakes ; with this end in view, 

Learn too to burn the fragrant cedar-wood 
And from the stalls to drive dread water-snakes 
With fumes of Syrian gum ; " a viper oft, 
Dangerous to the touch, 'neath unmoved pens 
Has lurked and, frightened, shunned the light of 

Or else a grass-snake wont to haunt the shed.** 

Therefore, at the bidding of the same poet, 

Seize, shepherd, 
A club of oak, and when it rears its head 
In threatening wise and swells its hissing neck, 
Then strike it down." 

Or, to avoid the necessity of this dangerous expedi- 
ent, burn a woman's hair continually or a stag's horn, 
the odour of which is the best thing to prevent this 
pestilential creature from settling in the sheep-folds. 

It is impossible to observe in all regions the same 7 
fixed time of year for shearing, because summer does 
not everywhere advance with the same speed or 
slowness. The best plan is to watch carefully for 
weather when the sheep will not feel the cold if you 
deprive them of their wool, nor the heat if you put 
off shearing them. But, whenever a sheep has been 
sheared, it must be anointed with the following 
preparation : the juice of boiled lupines, the dregs of 
old wine and the lees of olives are mixed in equal 
portions and the sheep is soaked with this liquid 
after it has been sheared, and when, after its skin 8 
has been anointed during three days and it has 

* Vergil, Georg. III. 414 ff. « Ih., 419-421. 



perbiberit, quarto die, si est vicinia maris, ad litus 
deducta mersatur : si minus, caelestis ^ aqua sub 
dio ^ salibus in hunc usum durata paulum decoquitur, 
eaque grex perluitur. Hoc modo curatum pecus 
toto anno scabrum fieri non posse Celsus affirmat : 
nee dubium est, quin etiam ob eam rem lana moUior 
atque prolixior renascatur. 

V. Et quoniam censuimus cultum curamque recte 
valentium, nunc quemadmodum vitiis aut morbo 
laborantibus subveniundum sit, praecipiemus : quan- 
quam pars haec exordii paene tota iam exhausta ' 
est, cum de medicina maioris pecoris priore libro 
disputaremus. Quia * cum sit fere eadem corporis 
natura minorum maiorumque quadrupedum, paucae 
parvaeque morborum et remediorum diflferentiae 
possunt inveniri ; quae tamen quantulaecunque 
sunt, non omittentur a nobis. 

Si aegrotat universum pecus, ut et ante praece- 
pimus, et nunc, quia remur esse ^ maxime salutare, 
iterum adseveramus, in hoc casu, quod est remedium 
praesentissimum, pabula mutemus et aquationes, 
totiusque regionis alium quaeramus statum caeli, cu- 
remusque, si ex calore et aestu concepta pestis 
invasit, ut opaca rura : si invasit frigore, ut eligantur 
aprica. Sed modice ac sine festinatione persequl 
pecus oportebit, ne imbecillitas eius longis itineribus 

^ si minus celestis S : si minusca et gustis A. 

^ sub dio ed. pr. : subsidio SAB. 

' exhausta ed. pr. : excausa A^ : exhausa S : exausta ac. 

* qua SAB. 

* quia remur esse S^ : qui aremus res se iS^ : quiremus 
resse Aac. 

• Book VI. 6-19 and 30-35. 

BOOK VII. IV. 8-v. 3 

absorbed this preparation, on the fourth day, if the sea 
is near at hand, the sheep should be driven down to 
the shore and plunged in ; but, if this is impossible, 
rain-water, after being hardened for this purpose 
with salt in the open air, is boiled for a short time and 
the flock thoroughly washed with it. Celsus declares 
that a sheep treated in this manner cannot possibly 
suffer from scab for a whole year, and there is no 
doubt that, as a result, its wool too will grow again 
more soft and luxuriant than before. 

V. Since we have now considered the management The diseases 
and care which sheep require when in good health, their cure,"'^ 
we will now give directions how to come to the help 
of those which are suffering from ailments or diseases, 
although almost all this part of my treatise has 
already been entirely exhausted when we were 
discussing in the previous book " the medical treat- 
ment of the larger cattle ; for since the physical 
nature of the smaller and of the larger quadrupeds 
is practically the same, only a few trifling differences 
are to be found in their diseases and the remedies of 
them ; but, however unimportant they are, we will 
not omit them. 

If the whole flock is sick, we again prescribe in 2 
this case also as the most efficacious remedy what we 
directed before, because we regard it as the most 
salutary, ntimely, to change both the fodder and the 
watering-places and to seek another climate for the 
grazing-ground as a whole, and to take care to choose 
densely shaded country, if the malady which has 
attacked the flock is the result of heat, but, if it is the 
result of cold, to choose a sunny district. But it will 3 
be advisable to drive the flock at a moderate pace and 
not to hurry it for fear of aggravating its enfeebled 



aggravetur : nee tamen in totum pigre ae segniter 
agere. Nam quiemadmodum fessas morbo pecudes 
vehementer agitare et extendere non eonvenit, ita 
eonducit mediocriter exercere, et quasi torpentes 
excitare, nee pati veterno eonsenescere atque ex- 
tingui. Cum deinde grex ad locum fuerit perductus, 
in lacinias eolonis ^ distribuatur. Nam partieulatim 
faeilius quam universus convalescit, sive quia ipsius 
morbi halitus minor est in exiguo numero, seu quia 
expeditius eura maior adhibetur paucioribus. Haec 
ergo et reliqua, ne nunc eadem repetamus, quae 
superiore exordio percensuimus, observare debemus 
si universae laborabunt : ilia, si ^ singulae. 

Oves frequentius, quam uUum aliud animal in- 
festantur ^ scabie : quae fere nascitur, sicut noster 
memorat poeta, 

Cum frigidus imber 

Altius ad vivum persedit, et horrida cano 

Bruma gelu, 

vel post tonsuram, si remedium praediciti medica- 
minis non adhibeas, si aestivum sudorem mari vel 
flumine non abluas, si tonsum gregem patiaris 
silvestribus rubis ac spinis sauciari, si stabulo utaris, 
in quo mulae aut equi aut asini steterunt : praecipue 

^ coloniis SAac. 

* ilia si S : illas in Aac. 

3 infostantur A^R : -atur S : infertur A^. 

« Vergil, Gecrg. III. 441 f. 

BOOK VII. V. 3-5 

condition with long journeys ; on the other hand it 
should not be driven at an absolutely slow and 
sluggish rate ; for, while it is not expedient to urge 
sheep on forcibly when they are worn out by disease 
and put a strain upon them, yet it is good to give 
them moderate exercise and, as it were, to rouse them 
from their torpor and not allow them to lose strength 
through inactivity, and so perish. Next, when the 
flock has been conducted to its new station, it 
should be distributed in small groups amongst the 
farmers ; for it recovers more easily when it is 4 
divided up than when it is kept together, either 
because the infectiousness of the disease itself is less 
in a small number or because a more effective cure 
can be applied more expeditiously to fewer victims. 
These precepts, then, and the others which we laid 
down in the earlier part of our treatise (to avoid 
repeating here what we have already said) should 
be observed when the whole flock is sick ; but if in- 
dividual animals are affected, the following rules 
should be observed. 

Sheep more often than any other animals are 5 
attacked by the scab, which generally occurs, as our 
poet says," 

When the cold shower and shivering winter, chill 
With hoary frost, have pierced them to the quick, 

or else after they have been sheared, if you do not 
apply the remedy already described, or if you do not 
wash out the summer sweat in the sea or in a river, 
or if you allow the flock, after having been shorn, to 
suffer wounds from wild brambles or thorns, or if you 
are using a pen in which mules or horses or donkeys 
have stood; but, above all things, scantiness of 



tamen exiguitas cibi maciem, macies autem scabiem 
facit. Haec ubi coepit irrepere, sic intelligitur : 
vitiosum locum pecudes aut morsu scalpunt, aut 
cornu vel ungula tundunt, aut arbori adfricant, 
parietibusve ^ detergent : quod ubi aliquam facien- 
tem videris, comprehendere oportebit, et lanam ^ 
diducere : nam subest aspera cutis, et velut quaedam 
porrigo.^ Cui primo quoque tempore occurrendum 
est, ne totam progeniem coinquinet, si quidem 
celeriter cum et alia pecora, tum praecipue oves 
contagione vexentur. Sunt autem complura medi- 
camina, quae idcirco enumerabimus, non quia 
cunctis uti necesse sit, sed quoniam nonnullis re- 
gionibus quaedam reperiri ^ nequeunt, ut ^ ex plu- 
ribus aliquod inventum remedio sit. Facit autem 
commode primum ea compositio, quam paulo ante 
demonstravimus, si ad faecem et amurcam succum- 
que decocti lupini misceas portione aequa detritum 
album elleborum.^ Potest etiam scabritiem tollere 
succus viridis cicutae : quae verno tempore, cum iam 
caulem nee adhuc semina facit, decisa contunditur, 
atque expressus humor eius fictili vase reconditur, 
duabus urnis liquoris admixto salis torridi semodio. 
Quod ubi factum est, oblitum vas in stercilino ' 
defoditur, ac toto anno fimi vapore concoctum mox 
promitur,^ tepefactumque medicamentum illinitur 
scabrae parti, quae tamen prius aspera testa defricta 

* parietibus vel SAR. 

* lanam diducere Aid, : lana rudi deucere S : lana rudi 
diicere Aac. 

* porrigo S^ : prurigo R. 

* repperiri S' : repperi S^A : reperiri R. 
^ ut om. SAR. 

* eleborum c, ed. pr. : helloboreos S : -em A^ : -um A^. 
' intercilino (S^i : instercilino ^^ : in sterquilino S^ 


BOOK VII. V. 5-8 

fodder causes emaciation, and emaciation causes the 
scab. This disease can be diagnosed in the following 6 
way when it begins to creep in : the sheep either 
gnaw the part aflfected, or strike it with horn or hoof, 
or rub it against a tree or wipe it upon the walls. 
When you see any sheep acting in these ways, it will 
be best to take hold of the animal and draw its wool 
apart, for there is a rough skin underneath it and a 
kind of crust. This must be treated at the first possi- 
ble opportunity, lest it infect the whole flock, since, 
while other cattle are readily attacked by contagious 
disease, sheep are particularly so. There are, how- 7 
ever, several remedies, which we will on this account 
enumerate, not because it is necessary to use them 
all at one time but in order that, since some of them 
are not to be met with in certain regions, one out of 
many may be found in order to effect a cure, first, 
the preparation which I explained just now can be 
used with advantage, namely, a mixture in equal 
portions of crushed white hellebore with lees of 
wine and dregs of oil and the juice of boiled lupine. 
The juice of green hemlock can also be used to remove 8 
scabbiness ; this plant is cut in spring-time, when it 
is already producing stalk but not seeds, and 
crushed, and the juice is pressed out and stored in an 
earthenware vessel, half a modius of dried salt being 
mixed with two urnae of the liquid. Next the vessel 
is sealed up and buried in a dung-pit and, after having 
matured for a whole year in the heat of the dung, it 
is taken out and the preparation is heated and 
smeared over the part affected by scab after it has 
been previously reduced to a state of soreness by 
being rubbed with a rough potsherd or a piece of 

* promittitur »S^^^. 



9 vel pumice redulceratur. Eidem remedio est amurca 
duabus partibus decocta : item vetus hominis urina 
testis candentibus inusta. Quidam ^ tamen hanc 
ipsam 2 subiectis ignibus quinta parte minuunt, 
admiscentque pari mensura succum viridis cicutae : 
deinde singulis urnis eius ^ liquaminis * singulos 

10 fricti salis sextarios ^ infundunt. Facit etiam sul- 
furis triti et picis liquidae modus aequalis igne lento ^ 
coctus. Sed Georgicum carmen affirmat nullam esse 
praestantiorem medicinam, 

Quam si quis ferro potuit rescindere summum 
Ulceris os : alitur vitium, vivitque tegendo. 

Itaque reserandum est, et ut cetera vulnera, medica- 
mentis curandum. Subicit deinde aeque prudenter, 
febricitantibus ovibus de talo vel inter duas ungulas 
sanguinem emitti ' oportere : ^ nam plurimum, inquit^ 

Profuit incensos aestus avertere, et inter 
Ima ferire pedis salientem sanguine venanti. 

11 Nos etiam sub oculis et de auribus sanguinem de- 
trahimus. Clodigo ^° quoque dupliciter infestat ^^ 
ovem, sive cum subluvies atque intertrigo in ipso 
discrimine ungulae nascitur: seu cum idem locus 

1 quadam SAR. 

* hac ipsa SA : hanc ipsam a : hac ipsam c. 

' singulis urnis eius Lundstrom ex cit. Palladii; singularis 
triti et picis eius S : singularis triti et picis A. 

* liqxiaminis A^. 

^ fricti sali sestarios S^ : frictis aliis extarios A^ : fruti 
salis sextarios a. 

* lento S : lente AR. 

' mitti SA. 8 oportet SAR. 

* id quid S : id quod A^ac. 

>" clodigo iStennMwgr : Clodi 5 : cludi^^: cladi ac. 
11 infestato SR. 



pumice-stone. The same disease is also treated with 9 
oil-lees boiled down by two-thirds, and also with 
stale human urine in which red-hot tiles have been 
plunged. Some people, however, put the urine 
itself upon the fire and reduce its volume by one- 
fifth and mix with it an equal quantity of the juice 
of green hemlock and then pour into each urn of 
this liquid a sextarius of crushed salt.** An equal 10 
quantity of ground sulphur and liquid pitch boiled 
over a slow fire has a good effect. A passage in the 
Georgics, however, declares that there is no more 
sovereign remedy. 

Than if with knife one cuts the ulcer's head ; 
The scab, if covered, gains fresh food and life.* 

That is why it must be opened and treated, like other 
wounds, with medicaments. The poet presently 
adds, with equal wisdom, that, when sheep are in a 
state of fever, they should be bled either from the 
pastern or between the two parts of the hoof; for, as 
he says, 

It oft has greatly helped to keep away 
The kindled flames of fever, if you strike 
The vein which throbs with blood beneath the 

We also draw off blood beneath the eyes and from 11 
the ears. Lameness also troubles sheep in two ways, 
either when fouling or galling occurs in the actual 
division of the hoof, or when the same place harbours 

" The reading here is uncertain, but triti et picis has pro- 
bably come in from the following sentence. 
" lb. 453 f. 
' lb. 459 f. 



tuberculum habet, cuius media fere parte canino 

12 similis extat pilus, eique ^ subest vermiculus. Sub- 
luvies et intertrigo pice per se liquida, vel alumine et 
sulfure atque aceto mixtis litae curentur, vel tenero ^ 
punico malo, prius quam grana faciat, cum alumine 
pinsito, superfusoque aceto vel aeris rubigine in- 
friata,^ vel combusta galla cum austero vino levigata 

13 et inlita. Tuberculum, cui subest vermiculus, ferro 
quam cautissime circumsecari oportet, ne, dum 
amputatur, etiam, quod infra est, animal vulnere- 
mus : id enim cum sauciatur, venenatam saniem 
mittit, qua respersum * vulnus ita insanabile facit, 
ut totus pes amputandus sit : sed cum tuberculum 
diligenter circumcideris, candens sebum vulneri per 
ardentem tedam instillato. 

14 Ovem pulmonariam similiter ut suem curari con- 
venit, inserta per auriculam, quam veterinarii con- 
siliginem vocant : de ea iam diximus, cum maioris 
pecoris medicinam traderemus.^ Sed is * morbus 
aestate plerumque concipitur, si defuit aqua, propter 
quod vaporibus omni quadrupedi largius bibendi 

15 potestas danda est, Celso placet, si est in pulmo- 
nibus vitium, acris aceti tantum dare, quantum ovis 
sustinere possit : vel humanae veteris urinae tepe- 
factae trium heminarum instar per sinistram narem 

^ ei quae SA. 

^ tenero ed. pr. : tero S^Aac : austero 5*. 

* infriata ed. pr. : infrita S^AE. 

* repressum AR : res pressu S. 

5 traderemus S'^ : trademus S^ : tradimus Aa. 

* is ac : his SA, 

" Pulmonaria officinalis. 
" Book VI. 5. 3; 14. 1. 

BOOK VII. V. 11-15 

a tubercule from about the middle of which a hair 
projects like that of a dog, which has a small worm 
beneath it. Fouling and galling are removed by 12 
being anointed with liquid pitch by itself or with 
alum and sulphur and vinegar mixed together, or 
young pomegranate, before it forms its seeds, 
crushed up with alum and with vinegar poured over 
it, or copper-rust sprinkled over it, or else burnt oak- 
apples pulverized and mixed with rough wine and 
smeared on the sore. A tubercule which has a worm 13 
inside it should be cut round with a knife with the 
greatest possible care, lest, in the course of cutting, 
we should also wound the part of the animal which is 
underneath it ; for, if this is damaged, it discharges 
poisonous matter and, if this is sprinkled over the 
wound, it makes it so difficult to heal that the whole 
foot has to be amputated. But when you have carefully 
cut round the tubercule, burning fat should be made 
to drip over the wound by means of a lighted 

Any sheep which is suffering from a disease of the 14 
lungs should be treated in the same way as a pig is 
treated for the same disease, by the insertion through 
the ear of what the veterinary surgeons call lungwort." 
We have already spoken ^ of this plant when we dealt 
with the treatment of the larger cattle. This disease 
is usually contracted in the summer if the water has 
been in short supply, and for this reason opportunity 
must be given to all quadrupeds of drinking more 
freely in hot weather. Celsus is of opinion that, if 15 
there is trouble in the lungs, one should give the 
sufferer as much sour vinegar as it can stand, or else 
pour down the left nostril through a small horn about 
three heminae of stale human urine which has been 



corniculo infundere, atque axungiae sextantem 
faucibus inserere. 

16 Est etiani insanabilis sacer ignis, quam pusulam ^ 
vocant pastores : ea nisi compescitur intra primam 
pecudem, quae tali malo correpta est, universum gre- 
gem contagione prosternit, si ^ quidem nee medica- 
mentorum nee ferri remedia patitur. Nam paene ad 
omnem tactum exeandescit : sola tamen fomenta 
non aspernatur laetis caprini, quod infusum tactu 
suo velut^ eblanditur* igneam saevitiam, difFerens 

17 magis occidionena gregis, quam prohibens. Sed 
Aegyptiae gentis auctor ^ memorabilis ^ Bolus ' 
Mendesius, cuius commenta, quae appellantur 
Graece ■)(eip6Kixr]Ta,^ sub nomine Democriti falso 
produntur, censet ^ propter banc pestem ^^ saepius ac 
diligenter ^^ ovium terga perspieere, ut si forte sit in 
aliqua tale vitium deprehensum, confestim scrobem ^^ 
defodiamus in limine stabuli, et vivam pecudem, 
quae fuerit pusulosa,!^ resupinam obruamus, patia- 
murque super ^^ obrutam meare totum gregem, quod 
eo facto morbus propulsetur. 

18 Bilis aestivo tempore non minima ^^ pernicies 
potione depellitur humanae veteris urinae, quae ipsa^^ 
remedio est etiam pecori arcuato. At si molesta 

* pusulam Ac : pusillam a : pustulam S^. 
2 si S : sic AR. 

' tactu suo velut Svenmtng : tactus volet ut (et o) SAc. 

* eblanditur S : et blanditur AR. 

* auctor S : auctore A : auctorem ac. 
' memorabilis S^ : memorabis S^AR. 
' Bolus Reinesius : dolus SAR. 

* ^eipoKfiTjTa Schneider : XeipoKt/iijra S. 
' censet S : gens et AR. 

^° pestem om. Aac. 

^^ ac diligenter S^ : adliganter S'^^A. ^* scribom S^A. 


BOOK VII. V. 15-18 

heated, and put a sextans of axle-grease down its 

Erysipelas, which the shepherds call pusula, is 16 
incurable. Unless it is confined to the first sheep 
which is attacked by this kind of trouble, it infects 
and lays low the whole flock, if it does not yield to 
medical or surgical treatment ; for it blazes forth at 
almost any touch. The only remedy which it does not 
reject is fomentation with goat's milk, which, when 
poured upon it, as it were, charms by its touch the fierv 
raging of the disease, postponing rather than prevent- 
ing the destruction of the flock. The celebrated writer 17 
of Egyptian race, Bolus of Mendesium,*" whose com- 
mentaries, which in Greek are called Hand-wrought 
Products and are published under the pseudonym of 
Democritus, is of opinion that as a precaution against 
this disease the hides of the sheep ought to be fre- 
quently and carefully examined, so that if any trace of 
disease is by chance discovered in any one of them, 
we may immediately dig a trench on the threshold of 
the sheep-fold and, laying it on its back, inter alive 
the animal which is suffering from erysipelas and 
allow the whole flock to pass over its buried body ; 
for by doing this the disease is driven away. 

Bile, not the least fatal disease in summer, is 18 
dispelled by making the victim drink stale human 
urine. The same remedy is also given to a sheep 
which is suffering from jaundice. If rheum is trouble- 

° Pliny, N.H. XXIV. 102 ; Vitruvius IX. 3. His work was 
entitled ovfjiTradeLcov Kal avriTradeLajv. 

13 pusillosa S^AR. 1* super S : sub AR. 

1^ minima ed. pr. : nimia SAR. 
i« ipsa S : ipse AR. 



pituita est, cunelae bubulae, vel surculi nepetae 
silvestris lana involuti naribus inseruntur, versantur- 
que donee sternuat ovis. Fracta pecudum non aliter 
quam hominum crura sanantur, involuta lanis oleo 
atque vino insuecatis, et mox circumdatis ferulis 

19 conligata. Est etiam gravis pernicies herbae san- 
guinariae, qua si pasta est ovis, toto ventre dis- 
tenditur, contrahiturque, et spumat et ^ quaedam 
tenuia ^ taetri odoris excernit.-' Celeriter sanguinem 
mitti oportet sub cauda in ea parte quae proxima est 
clunibus, nee minus in labro superiore vena * solvenda 
est. Suspiriose ^ laborantibus auriculae ferro re- 
scindendae, mutandaeque regiones ; quod in omnibus 
morbis ac pestibus fieri debere censemus. 

20 Agnis quoque succurrendum est vel febricitanti- 
bus, vel aegritudine alia afFectis. Qui ubi morbo 
laborant, admitti ad matres non debent, ne in eas 
perniciem transferant. Itaque separatim mulgendae 
sunt oves, et caelestis aqua pari mensura lacti 
miscenda est, atque ea potio febricitantibus danda. 
Multi lacte caprino iisdem medentur, quod per 

21 corniculum infunditur faucibus. Est etiam mentigo, 
quam pastores ostiginem vocant, mortifera lacten- 
tibus. Ea plerumque fit, si per imprudentiam ® 
pastoris emissi agni vel etiam haedi roscidas herbas 

1 et om. SAR. 

2 tenui SAR. 

' expernit S^Aac. * veno S^A^. 

6 suspiriose ac : suspiriore SA. 

* per imprudontiam ed. pr. : prudentiam SAR. 


BOOK VII. V. 18-21 

some, stalks of ox-marjoram or wild mint, wrapped 
round with wool, are inserted in the nostrils and 
turned round and round until the sheep sneezes. 
The broken legs of sheep are treated in the same 
manner as those of human beings ; they are wrapped in 
wool soaked in oil and wine and then bound up in 
splints which are placed round them. Knotgrass « 19 
has also bad effects which are serious ; for, if the sheep 
feeds on it, its whole belly becomes distended and 
then contracts, and the animal foams at the mouth 
and emits a thin kind of matter which has a foul odour. 
The victim must immediately be bled underneath 
the tail in the region nearest to the buttocks, and 
also a vein must be opened on the upper lip. Sheep 
whose breathing is asthmatical must have their ears 
cut with the knife and be transferred to other dis- 
tricts, a precaution which, in my opinion, ought to be 
taken in all diseases and plagues. 

Succour must also be given to lambs when they are 20 
suffering fi-om fever or affected by any other sickness ; 
those which are labouring under any disease ought 
not to be admitted to their dams, lest they pass on 
the malady to them. The ewes, then, must be milked 
separately, and rain-water must be mixed in equal 
measure with the milk and this potion given to the 
lambs which have fever. Many people use goats' 
milk as a remedy for these same lambs, pouring it 
down their throats through a small horn. There is 21 
also an eruptive disease, called by the shepherds 
ostigo (lamb-scab), which is fatal to sucking lambs. 
This generally occurs, if, through the carelessness of 
the shepherd, the lambs or even kids have been let 
loose and have fed on grass which is covered with dew, 

" See Book VI. 12. 5 and note. 



depaverint, quod minime committi oportet, Sed 
cum id factum ^ est, velut ignis sacer os atque labra 

22 foedis ulceribus obsidet.^ Remedio suht hyssopus et 
sal acquis ponderibus contrita. Nam ea mixtura 
palatum atque lingua,^ totumque os perfricatur. 
Mox ulcera lavantur aceto, et tunc pice liquida cum 
adipe suilla perlinuntur. Quibusdam placet rubi- 
ginis aeneae tertiam * partem duabus veteris axungiae 
portionibus commiscere, tepefactoque uti medica- 
mine. Non nulli folia cupressi trita ^ miscent aquae, 
et ita perluunt ulcera atque palatum. Castrationis 
autem ratio iam tradita est. Neque enim alia in 
agnis, quam in maiore quadrupede servatur. 

VI. Et quoniam de oviarico satis dictum est, ad 
caprinum pecus nunc revertar. Id autem genus 
dumeta potius, quam campestrem ^ situm desiderat : 
asperisque etiam locis ac silvestribus optime pascitur. 
Nam nee rubos aversatur, nee vepribus ofFenditur, et 
arbusculis frutectisque maxime gaudet. Ea sunt 
arbutus, atque alaternus ^ cytisusque agrestis, nee 
minus ilignei querneique frutices, qui in altitudinem 
non prosilierunt. 

2 Caper, cui sub maxilUs binae verruculae coUo depen- 
dent, optimus habetur, amplissimi corporis, cruribus 
crassis,^ plena et brevi cervice, flaccidis ^ et prae- 
gravantibus auribus, exiguo capite, nigro densoque et 
nitido atque longissimo pilo. Nam et ipse tondetur 

Usum in castrorum ac miseris velamina nautis. 

^ id factum S^ : infactum S^Aac. * obsident SAR. 

' lingua S^A^ : longua S^ : linquam AR. * tertia SA^. 

* cupressi trita S : cum pressurita AR. 

* campestre R : campreste S^A. 
' alaternus S : alternus Aac. 

* crassis S : erasis AR. 


BOOK VII. V. 2I-VI. 2 

which they certainly should not be allowed to do. 
But when this has happened, a kind of erysipelas 
surrounds their mouths and lips with filthy sores. 22 
The cure consists of hyssop and salt crushed to- 
gether in equal quantities, the palate, the tongue 
and the whole mouth being rubbed with this mixture. 
Next the sores are washed with vinegar and then 
thoroughly anointed with liquid pitch and lard. 
Some people prefer a mixture of one part of verdigris 
to two parts of stale axle-grease heated and used as a 
medicine ; some make a mixture of crushed cypress- 
leaves and water and thoroughly wash the sores and 
the palate. The method of castration has already been 
described, for the operation is performed on lambs 
in the same manner as on the larger quadrupeds. 

VI. Now that enough has been said about sheep, Goata. 
I will next turn to goats. This species of animal 
prefers thickets to open country and is best pastured 
in rough and wooded districts ; for it has no aversion 
to brambles and has no fault to find with briers 
and takes a particular pleasure in bushes and shrubs, 
such as the strawberry-tree, the buck-thorn, the 
wild trefoil and shrubs of holm-oak and oak which 
have not yet reached any great height. 

The points of the best type of he-goat are two 2 
excrescences which project downwards from its 
throat below its jaws, a large frame, thick legs, a full, 
short neck, flabby and drooping ears, a small head, 
and black, thick, glossy and very long hair ; for the 
he-goat is also shorn 

For use in camps and hapless sailors' coats." 

» Vergil, Georg. III. 313. 

* flaccidis ac : placcidis S^A^. 



Est autem mensumi septem satis habilis ad 
progenerandum : ^ quoniam immodicus libidinis, 
dum adhuc uberibus ^ alitur, matrem stupro super- 
venit, et ideo ante sex annos celeriter consenescit, 
quod immatura veneris cupidine primis pueritiae 
temporibus exhaustus est. Itaque quinquennis 
parum idoneus habetur feminis implendis. Capella 
praecipue probatur simillima hirco, quern, descripsi- 
mus, si etiam est uberis maximi et lactis abundan- 
tissimi. Hanc pecudem mutilam * parabimus quieto 
caeli statu : nam procelloso atque imbrifero cornuta. 
Semper autem et omni regione maritos gregum 
mutilos esse oportebit : quia cornuti fere perniciosi 
sunt propter petulantiam. Sed numerum huius 
generis maiorem, quam centum capitum sub uno 
clause non expedit habere, cum lanigerae mille 
pariter commode stabulentur.^ Atque ubi caprae 
primum comparantur, melius est unum gregem 
totum, quam ex pluribus particulatim mercari, ut nee 
in pastione separatim laciniae diducantur, et in caprili 
maiore concordia quietae consistant. Huic pecudi 
nocet aestus, sed magis frigus, et praecipue fetae, 
quia gelicidiosior ® heims conceptum vitiat J Nee 
tamen^ ea sola creat^ abortus,^" sed etiam glans cum 
citra satietatem data est. Itaque nisi potest afFatim 
praeberi, non est gregi permittenda. 

^ mensum S^ : mensuum S^A : mensium R, 

* progenerandum S : procerandum A • : procreandum R. 
' uberius SAB. 

* mutilam ed. pr. : mila S : mila A . 

* stabuleanter S^A * : stabulantur S^. 

* gelicidiosior Lundslrorn : geliciorior S^ : geliciodior 5* : 
gelicior Aac. 

' vitiat S : fecit AR. * tamen S : tantum AR. 

' creat Aac. : creant Aid. ^° abortu S : abortat AR. 


BOOK VII. VI. 3-5 

The he-goat is quite ready for breeding purposes 3 
at the age of seven months ; for it is immoderate in 
its desires and, while it is still being fed at its 
mother's udder, it leaps upon her and tries to do her 
violence. Hence, before it has reached six years of 
age, it is fast becoming old, because it has worn itself 
out in early youth by premature indulgence of its 
desires ; and so, when it is only five years old, it is 
regarded as unfit for impregnating the female. A 4 
she-goat is most highly approved which most closely 
resembles the he-goat which we have described, if it 
also has a very large udder and a great abundance of 
milk. If we live in a calm climate we shall acquire 
a she-goat without horns ; for in a stormy and rainy 
climate we shall prefer one with horns ; but always 
and in every district the fathers of the herd will have 
to be hornless, because those which have horns are 
generally dangerous because of their viciousness. 
One ought not to keep a larger number than a hundred 5 
head of goats in one enclosure, though one can equally 
easily keep a thousand sheep in the folds. When one 
is acquiring she-goats for the first time, it is better to 
buy a whole herd at once than to purchase them one 
by one from a number of sources ; this prevents them 
from splitting up into small groups while they are 
pasturing and makes them settle down quickly and in 
greater harmony in goat-stalls. The heat is harmful 
to this creature, but the cold is even more so, 
especially to pregnant she-goats, for an unusually 
frosty winter destroys the embryo. But not only the 
abnormally frosty winter causes abortion ; it also occurs 
if less than a sufficiency of mast is given them ; and so 
the herd should not be allowed to eat mast unless a 
plentiful supply can be provided. 



Tempus admissurae per autumnum fere ante 
mensem Decembrem praecipimus, ut iam propin- 
quante vere, gemmantibus frutectis, cum primum 
silvae nova germinant fronde, partus edatur. Ipsum 
vero caprile vel natural! saxo, vel manu constratum ^ 
eligi debet, quoniam huie pecori nihil substernitur. 
Diligensque pastor quotidie stabulum converrit, nee 
patitur stercus aut humorem consistere lutumve fieri, 
quae cuncta sunt capris inimica. Parit autem, si est 
generosa proles, frequenter duos, nonnunquam 
trigeminos. Pessima est fetura cum matres binae 
ternos haedos efficiunt. Qui ubi editi sunt, eodem 
modo, quo ^ agni educantur, nisi quod magis hae- 
dorum ^ lascivia compescenda, et arctius cohibenda 
est. Turn super lactis abundantiam samera, vel 
cytisus, aut hedera praebenda, vel etiam cacumina 
lentisci, aliaeque tenues * frondes obiciendae sunt. 
Sed ex geminis singula capita, quae videntur esse 
robustiora, in supplementum gregis reservantur, 
cetera mercantibus traduntur. Anniculae vel bimae 
capellae (nam utraque aetas partum edit) submitti 
haedum non oportet. Neque enim educare nisi 
trima debet. Sed anniculae confestim depellenda 
suboles. Bimae ^ tamdiu admittenda, dum possit 
esse vendibilis. Nee ultra octo annos matres ser- 
vandae sunt, quod assiduo partu fatigatae steriles ' 
existant. Magister autem pecoris acer, durus, 

* constratu iS^iJ. * qui SAR. * edonmi<S^c: odoruma. 

* tenue SAR. * bimae SA : bime ac. 

* fatigatae steriles S^ : fatigata steriles S^ : fatigata est 
exsteriles A . 

» Recently the reading bimae, instead of binae has been 
strongly urged on the basis of palaeography and the sense of 
the passage (Richter, Hermes LXXX. 215). 

BOOK VII. VI. 6-9 

The time which we advise for covering the she- 6 
goats is during the autumn, some time before the 
month of December, so that the kids may be born 
when spring is already approaching and the shrubs 
are coming into bud and the woods just sprouting 
with new foliage. A site for the goats' stable 
should be chosen which has a natural or artificial 
stone floor, since no litter is provided for this animal. 
A careful goatherd sweeps out the stable every day 
and does not allow any ordure or moisture to remain 
or any mud to form, all of which things are pre- 
judicial to goats. If a she-goat is of good stock, it 
frequently bears twins and sometimes triplets. It is 7 
a very poor increase when two mothers produce only 
three kids between them." When the kids are born, 
they are reared in the same manner as lambs except 
that their wantonness must be more repressed and 
kept within stricter bounds. Besides an abundance 
of milk, elm-seed or shrub-trefoil or ivy must be 
provided, or else tops of mastic and other delicate 
foliage must be put before them. When there are 
sets of twins, from each pair one, whichever seems to 
be the more robust, is reserved to fill up the herd, 
while the rest are handed over to the dealers. A 
she-goat of only one or two years (for both ages are 
capable of bearing young) should not be given kids 
to rear ; for it ought not to bring up a kid till it is 
three years old. And a mother of one year ought to be 8 
immediately deprived of its offspring, but a kid of a 
two-year-old mother ought to be left with it until it 
is ready to be sold. The mother-goats ought not to 
be kept beyond eight years, because, worn out by 
continual bearing, they end by becoming barren. 
The herd-master ought to be keen, hardy, energetic, 9 



strenuus, laboris patientissimus, alacer atque audax 
esse debet, et qui per rupes, per solitudines, per 
vepres facile vadat, et non, ut alterius generis 
pastores, sequatur, sed plerumque ut antecedat 
gregem. Maxime strenuum pecus est capella ^ 
praecedens ; ^ subinde quae incedit,^ compesci debet, 
ne procurrat,* sed placide ac lente pabuletur, ut et 
largi sit uberis, et non strigosissimi corporis. 

VIL Atque alia genera pecorum, cum pestilentia 
vexantur, prius morbo et languoribus macescunt, 
solae capellae quamvis opimae ^ atque hilares subito 
concidunt et velut aliqua ruina gregatim prosternan- 
tur.^ Id autem accidere "^ maxime solet ubertate 
pabuli. Quamobrem cum adhuc paucas pestis 
perculit, omnibus sanguis detrahendus : nee tota 
die pascendae, sed mediis quattuor horis intra septa 
claudendae. Sin alius languor infestat, poculo me- 
dicantur arundinis et albae spinae radicibus, quas 
cum ferreis pilis diligenter contudimus,^ admiscemus 
aquam pluvialem, solamque potandam pecori prae- 
bemus. Quod si ea res aegritudinem non depellit, 
vendenda sunt pecora; vel, si neque id contingere 
potest, ferro necanda saliendaque.^ Mox inter- 
posito spatio, conveniet olim gregem reparare. Nee 
tamen antequam pestilens tempus anni, sive id fuit 

^ capelle SAE. 

* praecedens Sc/ineirfer: capraecedent 5 : capre cedent Joe. 
' quae incedit Liindstrom : quern cedit SAR. 

* procurret SAJi. 

* optima SA^. 

* prostematur SAR. 

^ id autera accidere Lvudstrom : id actim cedere 5^ : id 
actum cedere Aa : id accidere S^. 

* contudimus S : contundimus AR. 

* saliendaque -S : saltenda quae ^'. 


BOOK VII. VI. 9-vii. 2 

well able to endure toil, active and bold — the sort of 
man who can make his way without difficulty over 
rocks and deserts and through briers ; he ought not 
to follow the herd like keepers of the other kind of 
cattle," but should usually precede it. The she- 
goat which leads the herd is a very energetic animal ; 
the one which so advances ought from time to time to 
be restrained in order that it may not race out in front 
but may browse quietly and slowly, so that it may have 
a large udder and not be lean of body. 

VII. Other kinds of domestic animals, when Diseases of 
they are afflicted with pestilence, begin by wasting fhek cure. 
away with disease and weakness, but she-goats are 
the only animals which, though they are plump 
and lively, are suddenly cut oif and over-whelmed, 
as it were, with sudden ruin, the whole herd at 
a time. This usually occurs as a result of too 
rich a diet. Therefore, when the plague has still 
stricken only a few of the herd, the goats should all 
be bled and given no food for a whole day and be 
kept shut up in their pens for the four middle hours 
of the day. If besides this, a languor attacks them, 2 
they are dosed with a beverage consisting of the 
roots of reeds and white thorn, with which, after 
we have carefully bruised them with an iron pestle, 
we mix rain-water and give this, and nothing else, 
to the goats to drink. If this does not dispel their 
sickness, the animals must be sold ; or, if this cannot 
be managed, they should be slaughtered with the 
knife and their flesh salted. Then, after an interval, 
the fitting time will come to replace the flock, but 
not before the pestilential season, if it was winter, 

<• I.e. oxen and cows and sheep. 



hiemis, vertatur ^ aestate, sive autumni,^ vere ^ 

3 mutetur. Cum vero * singulae morbo ^ laborabunt, 
eadem remedia, quae etiam ovibus, adhibebimus ; 
nam cum distendetur aqua cutis, quod vitium Graeci 
vocant vdpojna, sub armo pellis leviter incisa perni- 
ciosum transmittal humorem, turn factum vulnus 

4 pice liquida curetur. Cum efFetae ^ loca genitalia 
tumebunt, aut secundae non responderint, defruti 
sextarius, vel cum id defuerit, boni vini tantundem 
faucibus infundatur, et naturalia ceroto ' liquido 
repleantur. Sed ne nunc singula persequar, sicut in 
ovillo pecore praedictum est, caprino medebimur. 

V^III. Casei quoque faciendi non erit omittenda 
cura, utique longinquis regionibus, ubi mulctram ® 
devehere non expedit. Is porro si tenui liquore 
conficitur, quam celerrime vendendus est, dum 
adhuc viridis succum retinet : si pingui et opimo, 
longiorem patitur ^ custodiam. Sed lacte fieri debet 
sincero et quam recentissimo. Nam requietum 
vel aqua mixtum ^^ celeriter acorem concipit. Id 
plerumque cogi agni aut haedi coagulo ; quamvis 
possit et agrestis^i cardui^^ flore conduci, et seminibus 
cneci, nee minus ficulneo lacte, quod emittit arbor, si 
2 eius virentem saucies corticem. Verum optimus 

1 vertatur ed. pr. : vertantur SAR. 

* autiimnum SAM. 

^ verumutetur SA : vere mutentur a : ver utetur c. 

* vero R : vere *S'^4, 
6 domo SAR. 

* & faetae S : et facte A R. 
' geratori A : geroctori iS'. 

* mulcram S : mulcra A ' : multra R. 

* patitur iS : patimur AR. 

•" aqua mixtum Heinsius : quu mixtum S : maximum AR. 
^1 agrestius SAR. 
^* cardiu S : cardius AR. 

BOOK VII. VII. 2-viii. 2 

has changed to summer, or, if it was autumn, has 
changed to spring. If only individual goats are 3 
suffering from the disease, we shall apply the same 
remedies as to sheep ; for when the skin is distended 
with water — the malady which the Greeks call hydrops 
(dropsy) — a slight incision should be made in the skin 
under the shoulder, causing the fatal liquid to flow 
away ; then the wound thus caused should be treated 
with liquid pitch. If, after a she-goat has borne 4 
young, the genital pai'ts swell up and the after-birth 
has not put in an appearance, a sextarius of boiled down 
must, or, if this is not available, the same quantity of 
good wine, should be poured down the throat and the 
sexual parts filled with a liquid solution of wax. But, 
not to enter into more detail now, we shall give goats 
the same remedies as we have prescribed for sheep. 

VIII. It will be necessary too not to neglect the cheese- 
task of cheese-making, especially in distant parts of making. 
the country, where it is not convenient to take milk 
to the market in pails. Further, if the cheese is made 
of a thin consistency, it must be sold as quickly as 
possible while it is still fresh and retains its moisture ; 
if, however, it is of a rich and thick consistency, it 
bears being kept for a longer period. Cheese should 
be made of pure milk which is as fresh as possible, for 
if it is left to stand or mixed with water, it quickly 
turns sour. It should usually be curdled with rennet 
obtained from a lamb or a kid, though it can also be 
coagulated with the flower of the wild thistle or the 
seeds of the safilower,* and equally well with the liquid 
which flows from a fig-tree if you make an incision in 
the bark while it is still green. The best cheese, how- 2 

" Carthamus tinctoriu6. 



caseus est, qui exiguum medicaminis habet. Mini- 
mum autem coagulum ^ recipit sinum lactis argentei 
pondus denarii. 2 Nee dubium quin fici ramulis 
glaciatus caseus iucundissime sapiat. Sed mulctra,^ 
cum est repleta lacte, non sine tepore aliquo debet 
esse. Nee tamen admovenda est flammis, ut qui- 
busdam placet, sed haud procul igne constituenda, et 
confestim cum concrevit liquor, in fiscellas aut in 
calathos vel formas transferendus est. Nam maxime 
refert primo quoque tempore serum percolari et a 
concreta materia separari. Quam ob causam rustici 
nee patiuntur quidem sua sponte pigro humore 
defluere, sed cum paulo solidior caseus factus est> 
pondera superponunt, quibus exprimatur serum: 
deinde ut formis aut calathis exemptus * est, opaco 
ac frigido loco, ne possit vitiari : quamvis mundis- 
simis tabulis componitur, aspergitur tritis salibus, ut 
exudet acidum liquorem : atque ubi duratus est, 
vehementius premitur, ut conspissetur. Et rursus 
torrido sale contingitur, rursusque ponderibus con- 
densatur. Hoc cum per dies novem factum est, aqua 
dulci abluitur,^ et sub umbra cratibus in hoc factis ^ 
ita ordinatur, ne alter alterum caseus contingat, et 
ut modice siccetur : deinde, quo tenerior permaneat, 
clauso neque ventis obnoxio loco stipatur per com- 

^ coagulo SB : coaculo A ^. 

* argenteis . . . denariis SAR. 

* mulctrat SA. 

* exemptus ac : exemtus S' : exemtis S^A. 

' dulci abluitur S : dulcia bibitur A : dulci ebibitur B. 
« fatis SA. 



ever, is that which contains only a very small quantity of 
any drug. The least amount of rennet that a pail of 
milk requires weighs a silver denarius ; and there is no 
doubt that cheese which has been solidified by means 
of small shoots from a fig-tree has a very pleasant 
flavour. A pail when it has been filled with milk 3 
should always be kept at some degree of heat ; it 
should not, however, be brought into contact with 
the flames, as some people think it proper to do, but 
should be put to stand not far from the fire, and, 
when the liquid has thickened, it should immediately 
be transferred to wicker vessels or baskets or moulds ; 
for it is of the utmost importance that the whey should 
percolate as quickly as possible and become separated 
from the solid matter. For this reason the country- 4 
folk do not even allow the whey to drain away slowly 
of its own accord, but, as soon as the cheese has be- 
come somewhat more solid, they place weights on the 
top of it, so that the whey may be pressed out ; then, 
when the cheese has been taken out of the moulds or 
baskets, it is placed in a cool, shady place, that it may 
not go bad, and, although it is placed on very clean 
boards, it is sprinkled with pounded salt, so that it may 
exude the acid liquid ; and, when it has hardened, it is 
still more violently compressed, so that it may become 
more compact ; and then it is again treated with 
parched salt and again compressed by means of weights. 5 
When this has been done for nine days it is washed 
with fresh water. Then the cheeses are set in rows on 
wickerwork trays made for the purpose under the 
shade in such a manner that one does not touch 
another, and that they become moderately dry; 
then, that the cheese may remain the more tender, it 
is closely packed on several shelves in an enclosed 



plura tabulata. Sic neque ^ fistulosus neque salsus 
neque aridus provenit. Quorum vitiorum primum 
solet accidere, si parum pressus ; secundum, si nimio 
sale imbutus : tertium,^ si sole exustus est. Hoc 
genus casei potest etiam trans maria permitti. Nam 
is, qui recens intra paucos dies absumi debet, leviore 
cura conficitur. Quippe fiscellis exemptus in salem 
muriamque ^ demittitur, et mox in sole paulum 
siccatur. Nonnulli antequam pecus numellis in- 
duant,^ virides pineas nuces in mulctram demittunt, 
et mox super eas emulgent, nee separant, nisi cum 
transmiserint ^ in formas coactam materiam. Ipsos 
quidam virides conterunt nucleos, et lacti permiscent, 
atque ita congelant. Sunt qui thymum contritum 
cribroque colatum cum lacte cogant. Similiter 
qualiscunque velis saporis efficere possis, adiecto 
quod elegeris condimento. Ilia vero notissima est 
ratio faciendi casei, quem dicimus manu ^ pressum,' 
Namque is paulum gelatus ^ in mulctra dum ^ est 
tepefacta,^" rescinditur et fervente aqua perfusus vel 
manu figuratur,^^ vel buxeis formis exprimitur. Est 
etiam non ingrati saporis muria perduratus, atque ita 
malini ligni vel culmi fumo coloratus. Sed iam 
redeamus ad originem. 

1 sic neque S : -s igneas A : ligneas c. 

^ tertium 8 : tertio AE. 

* muriamque <S : murtamq; A. 

* induant Broiickhusius : indurat SA R. 

* transmiserint ed. pr. : transierunt SAR. 
' vanu SA. 

' pressum a : -us c : pressu SA. 

* caelatus S : celatus A R. 

* mulctra dum <S : mulctrandum AR. 

*' tepefacta ed. pr. : neres phata S : neres fata A. 
11 figiiratur Aid. : figuratus SAIL 


BOOK VII. viii, 5-7 

place which is not exposed to the winds. Under 
these conditions it does not become full of holes or 
salty or dry, the first of these bad conditions being 
generally due to too little pressure, the second to its 
being over-salted, and the third to its being scorched 
by the sun. This kind of cheese can even be 
exported beyond the sea. Cheese which is to be 
eaten within a few days while still fresh, is prepared 
with less trouble ; for it is taken out of the wicker- 
baskets and dipped into salt and brine and then 
dried a little in the sun. Some people, before they 
put the shackles " on the she-goats, drop green pine- 
nuts into the pail and then milk the she-goats over 
them and only remove them when they have trans- 
ferred the curdled milk into the moulds. Some 
crush the green pine-kernels by themselves and mix 
them with the milk and curdle it in this way. Others ' 
allow thyme which has been crushed and pounded 
through a sieve to coagulate with the milk ; similarly, 
you can give the cheese any flavour you like by adding 
any seasoning which you choose. The method of 
making what we call " hand-pressed " cheese is the 
best-known of all : when the milk is slightly con- 
gealed in the pail and still warm, it is broken up and 
hot water is poured over it, and then it is either shaped 
by hand or else pressed into box-wood moulds. 
Cheese also which is hardened in brine and then 
coloured with the smoke of apple-tree wood or 
stubble has a not unpleasant flavour. But let us now 
return to the point from which we digressed.'' 

" I.e. to restrain them while they are being milked. 

* The author regards this chapter on cheese-making as a 
digression from his real subject, which is a description of the 
smaller domestic animals. 



IX. In omni genere quadrupedum species maris 
diligenter eligitur, quoniam frequentius ••■ patri 
similior est progenies, quam matri. Quare etiam in 
suillo pecore verres probandi sunt totius quidem 
corporis amplitudine ^ eximii,^ sed qui quadrati potius 
quam longi aut rotundi sint, ventre promisso, clunibus 
vastis, nee proinde cruribus aut ungulis proceris, 
amplae et glandulosae cervicis, rostri * brevis ^ et 
resupini.^ Maximeque ad rem pertinet, quam 
salacissimos esse ineuntes.' Ab annicula aetate 
commode progenerant, dum quadrimatum agant : 
possunt tamen etiam semestres implere feminam. 
Scrofae probantur longissimi ^ status, et ut sint 
reliquis membris similes descriptis verribus. Si 
regio frigida et pruinosa est, quam durissimae 
densaeque et nigrae setae ^ grex eligendus est ; si 
temperata atque aprica, glabrum pecus vel etiam 
pistrinale album potest pasci. Femina sus ^° habetur 
ad partus edendos idonea ^^ fere usque in annos sep- 
tem, quae quanto fecundior est, celei-ius senescit. 
Annicula non improbe concipit, sed iniri ^^ debet 
mense Februario. Quattuor quoque mensibus feta, 
quinto parere, cum iam herbae solidiores sunt, ut et 
firma lactis maturitas porcis contingat, et cum desie- 

1 frequentius S : frequenter AR. 

* amplitudine S : -em Aac. 

* eximii S : eximit AR. 

* rostri S : rostribus A ac. 

* brevis SA : brevibus R. 

* resupina SAR. 

' esse ineuntes Lundslrom : esseminant et SAR. 

* longissimis SAR. 

* nigrae sete S^ : nigrae sedet S'^ : nigraes et egrex A. 

10 suus SA. 

11 edendo nea SA'^ 

1* iniri Aid. : inire SAB. 

BOOK VII. IX. 1-3 

IX. In every kind of quadruped it is a male of the Pigs. 
fine appearance which is the object of our careful 
choice, because the offspring is more often like its 
father than like its mother. So too, when it is a 
question of pigs, those boars must meet with our 
approval which are remarkable for their outstanding 
bodily size in general, provided that they are square 
rather than long or round, and which have a belly 
which hangs down, huge haunches, but not corre- 
spondingly long legs and hoofs, a long and glandulous 
neck, and a snout which is short and snub ; also it is 
especially important that they should be as lustful as 
possible when they have sexual intercourse. They 2 
are fit for breeding purposes from a year old until 
they are four years old, though they can also impreg- 
nate a sow at six months old. Breeding sows are 
esteemed which are very long in shape, provided that 
in their other limbs they resemble the description 
which we have given of the boars. If the district is 
cold and frosty, a herd should be selected with very 
hard, dense, black bristles ; if it is temperate and 
sunny, smooth pigs and even white ones such as are 
kept by bakers " may be pastured there. A sow is 3 
considered fit for breeding purposes until it is about 
seven years old, but the more prolific it is the more 
quickly it becomes old. It can quite well conceive 
at a year old, but ought to be covered by the boar in 
the month of February and, having been four months 
with young, it should farrow in the fifth month, when 
the grass is already of stronger growth, so that the 
porkers may find the milk at the perfection of its full 
strength and also, when they cease to be suckled at 

" It was customary for bakers to keep pigs and feed them 
on the superfluous bran (Plant., Capt., 4. 2. 28). 



rint uberibus ali/ stipula pascantur, ceterisque 
leguminum caducis frugibus. Hoc autem fit longin- 
quis regionibus, ubi nihil nisi submittere expedit. 
Nam suburbanis lactens ^ porcus aere ^ mutandus 
est : sic enim mater non educando labori subtrahitur, 
celeriusque iterum conceptum partum edet. Idque 
bis * anno faciet. Mares, vel cum primum ineunt 
semestres, aut cum saepius progeneraverunt, trimi ^ 
aut quadrimi castrantur, ut possint pinguescere. 
Feminis quoque vulvae ferro exulcerantur, et cica- 
tricibus clauduntur, ne sint genitales. Quod facere 
non intelligo quae ratio compellat,^ nisi penuria cibi. 
Nam ubi est ubertas pabuli, submittere prolem semper 

Omnem porro situm ruris pecus hoc usurpat. Nam 
et montibus et campis commode pascitur, melius 
tamen palustribus agris, quam sitientibus. Nemora 
sunt convenientissima, quae vestiuntur ' quercu, 
subere, fago, cerris, ilicibus, oleastris, termitibus, 
corylis, pomiferisque silvestribus, ut sunt albae 
spinae, Graecae siliquae, iuniperus, lotus, pampinus, 
cornus, arbutus, prunus, et paliurus, atque achrades 
pyri, Haec enim diversis temporibus mitescunt, ac 
paene toto anno gregem saturant. At ubi penuria 
est arborum, terrenum pabulum consectabimur-, et 

^ ali 8c : alti Aa. 

" lactis a : lactens c : lactes SA. 

* aere R : ae ru <S : eru A. 

* vis A : quis S. 

* primi SA. 

* compellat B : -ant SA. 
' vertuntur SA. 

" Schneider is probably right in thinking that termes repre- 
sents the Greek rep/iipdos. 


BOOK VII. IX. 3-7 

the udder, they may feed on stubble and the fruits 
also which fall from leguminous plants. This is the 4 
practice in out-of-the-way regions where raising 
stock is the only thing which pays ; for in districts 
near towns the sucking pig must be turned into 
money, for then its mother is saved trouble by not 
having to rear it and will more quickly conceive and 
produce another offspring, and so bear twice in the 
same year. The males are castrated, so that they 
may be enabled to grow fat, either at six months, when 
they first begin to cover the sows, or else at three or 
four years of age, when they have been often used for 
breeding. An operation is also performed with the 5 
knife on the wombs of the females to make them 
suppurate and close up as a result of scarring over, 
so that they cannot breed. I do not know the reason 
for doing this, unless it is lack of food ; for where 
there is abundance of fodder, it always pays to rear 

Moreover, pigs can make shift in any sort of 6 
country wherever situated. For they find suitable 
pasture both in the mountains and in the plains, 
though it is better on marshy ground than on dry. 
The most convenient feeding-grounds are woods 
covered with oaks, cork-trees, beeches, Turkey oaks, 
holm-oaks, wild olive trees, terebinth-trees,'* hazels, 
wild fruit-trees like the whitethorn, carob-trees, 
junipers, nettle-trees, vine-tendrils, cornel-trees, 
strawberry-trees, plum-trees, Christ's thorn, and 
wild pear-trees. For these ripen at different times and 
provide plenty of food for the herd almost all the 
year round. But where there is a lack of trees, we 7 
shall have recourse to fodder which grows near the 
ground and prefer muddy to dry ground, so that the 



sicco limosum praeferemus, ut paludem rimentur, 
effodiantque ^ lumbricos, atque in luto volutentur, 
quod est huic pecudi gratissimum ; quin etiam aquis 
abuti possint : namque id fecisse maxime per aesta- 
tem profuit, et dulces eruisse radiculas aquatilis 
silvae, tanquam scirpi ^ iuncique et degeneris arun- 
dinis, quam vulgus cannam vocat. Nam cultus 
quidem ager opimas reddit sues, cum est graminosus, 
et pluribus generibus ^ pomorum consitus, ut per 
anni diversa tempora mala, pruna, pyrum, multi- 
formes nuces ac ficum praebeat. Nee tamen propter 
haec parcetur horreis. Nam saepe de manu dandum 
est, cum foris deficit pabulum. Proper quod plurima 
glans vel cisternis in aquam vel fumo tabulatis re- 
condenda * est. Fabae quoque et similium legu- 
minum, cum vilitas permittit, facienda est potestas, 
et utique vere, dum adhuc lactent ^ viridia pabula, 
quae suibus plerumque nocent.^ Itaque mane 
priusquam procedant in pascua, conditivis cibis 
sustinenda "^ sunt, ne immaturis herbis citetur alvus, 
eoque vitio pecus emacietur. Nee ut ceteri greges 
universi claudi debent, sed per ^ porticus harae ^ 
faciendae sunt, quibus aut a partu ^^ aut etiam praeg- 
nates includantur. Nam praecipue sues cater- 

1 effodiantque R : et fodiantque SA . 

^ stirpi SAac. 

^ generibus om. SA. 

* recondenda <S'^ : reconda S'^A : recondita ac. 

* laotent ex cit. Palladii (III. 26. 3) : lantiunt 8A : lanciunt 

* nocet SA. 

' sustinenda SAac. 
' per om. SA. 
' harae ovi. SA. 
" parte iS^. 


BOOK VII. IX. 7-9 

pigs may root about in the marsh and turn up worms 
and wallow in the mud, which pigs love to do ; and may 
they also be able to use water freely ; for it has proved 
a great benefit for them to do this in the summer and 
to tear up the sweet-flavoured rootlets of under-water 
growths, such as the reed-mace, the rush, and the bast- 
ard reed, which the vulgar call the "cane." Sows indeed 8 
grow fat on cultivated ground when it is grassy and 
planted with fruit-trees of several kinds, so as to 
provide at different seasons of the year apples, 
plums, pears, nuts of many kinds and figs. You 
should not, however, on the strength of these fruits 
be sparing of the contents of the granary, Avhich 
should often be handed out when out-door food fails. 
For this purpose plenty of mast should be stored either 
in cisterns of water or in lofts exposed to the smoke." 
They should also be given the opportunity of feeding 9 
on beans and similar leguminous vegetables, when 
their cheapness makes this possible, especially in the 
spring when green fodder is still in a juicy condition, 
which is generally harmful to pigs. Early in the 
morning, therefore, before they go out to pasture, 
they should be given a nourishing meal of food from 
the store, that the bowel may not be irritated by 
grass which is immature and that the herd may not 
waste away by the trouble which it causes. Pigs 
ought not to be shut up all together, like all other 
herds, but sties ought to be constructed after the 
manner of colonnades, in which the sows can be shut 
up after farrowing and even during pregnancy ; for 
sows more than any other animals, when they are 

" Cisternis — tabulatis, these words are possibly corrupt but 
the general meaning is clear. Pontedera suggests cisiemis 
sine aqua vel fumosis tabulatis^ 



vatim atque incondite cum sunt pariter inclusae, 

10 super alias aliae cubant et fetus elidunt. Quare, 
ut dixi, iunctae parietibus harae construeniae sunt 
in altitudinem pedum quattuor, ne sus transilire septa 
queat. Nam contegi non debet, ut a superiore parte 
custos numerum porcorum recenseat, et si quem 
decumbens mater oppresserit, cubanti subtrahat. 
Sit autem vigilax, impiger, industrius, navus. Om- 
nium, quas pascit, et matricum et iuniorum memi- 
nisse debet, ut uniuscuiusque partum consideret. 
Semper observet enitentem, claudatque ut in ^ hara 

11 fetum edat. Tum denotet ^ protinus quot et quales 
sint ^ nati, et curet maxime ne quis * sub nutrice 
aliena educetur ^ : nam facillime porci, si evaserint 
haram, miscent se, et scrofa cum decubuit, aeque 

12 alieno ac suo praebet ubera. Itaque porculatoris 
maximum officium est, ut unamquamque ^ cum sua 
prole claudat. Qui si memoria deficitur, quo minus 
agnoscat cuiusque progeniem, pice liquida eandem ' 
notam scrofae et porcis imponat, et sive per literas 
sive per alias formas unumquemque fetum cum 
matre distinguat. Nam in maiore numero diversis 
notis opus est, ne confundatur memoria custodis. 

13 Attamen quia id facere gregibus amplis videtur 

* claudatq; ut in i? : claudat in SA. 
" dinotet SA. 

' sunt SA. 

* ne quis S* : nutrix equis S^A. 

' alien^ {-e ^) ducetur SA : aliena educatur R. 

* unamque SA. 

' eandem E : eadem AS. 


BOOK VII. IX. 9-13 

penned together in a crowd and pell-mell, lie one on top 
of another and abortions are thus caused. Therefore, 10 
as I have said, sties should be built joined by party walls 
each to the other and fourfeet inheight,so that the sow 
may not be able to j ump over the these barriei s. They 
ought not to be roofed over, so that the man in 
charge may be able to look in from above and count 
the number of piglings, and that if any mother is lying 
on top of its litter and squeezes one of them, he 
may extract it from under her. The swineherd 
must be watchful, energetic, painstaking and active : 
he ought to be able to remember all the sows under 
his charge, both those which have produced offspring 
and the younger sows, so that he may identify the 
offspring of each separately. He must be on the 
watch for sows which are farrowing and shut them 
up, so that they may produce their litter in a sty; 11 
he must then take note immediately of the number 
and quality of the piglings which are born and take 
special care that none of them is brought up by a sow 
which is not its mother ; for the sucking-pigs, if they 
have escaped from the sty, very easily become mixed 
up, and the sow, when it lies down, offers its dugs as 
freely to the offspring of other sows as to her own. 
Thus the most important duty of the swine breeder is 12 
to keep each sow shut up with its own litter. If he has 
not a good memory and so cannot recognize the off- 
spring of each sow, he should put the same mark on 
the sow and its piglings with liquid pitch, so that he 
may distinguish the different litters and their mothers 
by means of letters or some other device ; for where 
a large number is involved, it is necessary to employ 
distinctive marks, so that the swineherd's memory 
may not be confused. Since, however, it seems a 13 



operosum, commodissimum est haras ita fabricare, 
ut limen earum ^ in tantam altitudinem consurgat, 
quantam ^ possit nutrix evadere ; lactens autem su- 
pergredi ^ non possit. Sic nee alienus irrepit, et in 
cubili suam quisque matrem nidus ^ expectat, qui 
tamen non debet octo capitum numerum excedere : 
non quia ignorem fecunditatem scrofarum maioris 
esse numeri, sed quia celerrime fatiscit, quae plures 
educat. Atque eae quibus partus submittitur, cocto 
sunt hordeo sustinendae, ne ad maciem summam 
perducantur,^ et ex ea ad aliquam perniciem. 

14 Diligens autem porculator frequenter suile converrit, 
et saepius haras. Nam quamvis praedictum ani- 
mal in pabulatione spuree versetur, mundissimum 
tamen cubile desiderat. Hie fere cultus est pecoris 
suilli recte valentis. Sequitur ut dicamus, quae sit 
cura vitiosi. 

X. Febricitantium signa sunt, cum obstipae sues 
transversa capita ferunt, ac per pascua subito, cum 
paululum procurrerunt, consistunt, et vertigine 
correptae concidunt. Earum notanda sunt capita, 

2 quam in partem prochnent,^ ut ex diversa parte de 
auricula sanguinem mittamus. Item sub cauda 
duobus digitis a clunibus intermissis venam feriamus, 
quae est in eo loco satis ampla, eamque sarmento 
prius oportet verberari, deinde ab ictu ' virgae tu- 

^ limen earum li : minearum SA. 
^ quanta S : quantum Aac. 

* supergrcdi R : ut pergredi SA. 

* nidus S : -OS AR. ' perducatur SA. 

* proclinent S : proclinentur ^jB. 
^ avictu S : abiectu a. 


BOOK VII. IX. 13-X. 2 

laborious task to carry out this plan in large herds, 
the most convenient method is to construct the sties 
in such a way that their thresholds are low enough 
for the sow to be able to get out but too high for the 
sucking pig to climb over ; thus no strange porker 
can creep in, and each litter awaits its own mother 
in the place where they sleep. A litter ought not to 
number more than eight, not that I am ignorant that 
the fecundity of breeding-sows can produce more 
than this number, but because a sow which rears more 
than eight quickly becomes worn out. Those sows 
which are given a litter to rear, must be sustained with 
cooked barley, so that they may not be reduced to a 
state of extreme emaciation and from that to some 
fatal sickness. The careful swineherd will frequently 14 
sweep out the piggery and the sties still more often ; 
for, though the animal in question behaves in a filthy 
manner when it is at pasture, it likes its sleeping- 
place to be very clean. Such, more or less, is the 
manner in which pigs should be kept when they are 
in good health ; our next task is to deal with the care 
of the pig in disease. 

X. The signs of fever in pigs are when they lean Diseases of 
over and hold their heads awry, and, after running thei/cures. 
forward a little way over their feeding-ground, 
suddenly halt and are seized with giddiness and fall 
down. Notice must be taken in which direction 2 
they lean their heads forward, so that we may let 
blood from the ear on the opposite side ; we shall 
also smite under the tail, at two fingers' distance from 
the haunches, the vein which at this point is fairly 
big, but it ought first to be beaten with a vine-twig, 
and then, as it swells up from the stroke of the rod, it 
should be opened with a knife, and, after the blood 



mentem ferro rescind!, detractoque sanguine colli- 
gari saligneo libro vel etiam ulmeo. Quod cum 
fecerimus, uno aut altero die sub tecto pecudem 
continebimus, et aquam modice calidam quantam 
volent, farinaeque hordeaceae singulos sextarios 
praebebimus. Strumosis sub lingua sanguis mitten- 
dus est, qui cum profluxerit, sale trito cum farina 
triticea confricari totum os conveniet. Quidam 
praesentius putant esse remedium cum per ^ cornu 
singulis ternos cyathos gari ^ demittunt. Deinde 
fissas taleas ferularum lineo funiculo religant : et ita 
collo suspendunt, ut strumae ferulis contingantur. 
Nauseantibus quoque salutaris habetur eburnea 
scobis sali ^ fricto et fabae minute fresae commixta, 
ieiunisque prius quam in pascua prodeant obiecta.* 
Solet etiam universum ^ pecus aegrotare ita, ut 
emacietur, nee cibos capiat, productumque ^ in pascua 
medio campo procumbat, et quodam veterno pressum 
somnos aestivo sub sole captet. Quod cum facit, 
totus grex tecto clauditur stabulo, atque uno die 
abstinetur potione et pabulo : ' postridie radix 
anguinei ^ cucumeris trita et commixta cum aqua 
datur sitientibus : quam cum pecudes biberunt, 
nausea correptae vomitant, atque expurgantur, omni- 
que bile depulsa, cicercula vel faba dura muria con- 

* cum per R : compea S : cumpea A. 

2 gari li : cari S^. 

3 sale SAR. 

* abiecta A R : obiecta S. 

* universam SA^ : -um A^R. 

* productusque <S^. 
' paulo SA. 


BOOK VII. X. 2-5 

has been drawn off, the vein ought to be bound up 
with bark of a willow or even of an elm-tree. After 3 
this we shall keep the animals under cover for a day 
or two and give them as much moderately warm 
water as they shall desire and a sextarius each of 
barley-flour. If pigs are scrofulous, they must be 
bled under the tongue and, when the blood has 
flowed, it will be well to rub the whole mouth with 
powdered salt mixed with wheaten flour. Some 
people think that a more efficacious remedy is to 
make them swallow three cyathi each of fish-pickle 
through a horn ; they then tie together split sticks of 
fennel with a linen cord and hang them round their 
necks in such a way that the scrofulous tumours are 
in contact with the fennel-stalks. For pigs suffer- 4 
ing from vomiting, ivory-dust is regarded as a good 
remedy mixed with powdered salt and beans ground 
very small and given to them on an empty stomach 
before they go out to pasture. Sometimes also the 
whole herd suffers at the same time, which causes 
them to become thin and to refuse their food and to 
lie down in the middle of the field when they are 
driven out to pasture and to want to go to sleep in 
the summer sunshine overcome by a kind of drowsi- 
ness. When this happens, the whole herd is shut up 5 
in a covered stable and deprived of drink and food 
for one day ; then on the following day the root of the 
snake-like cucumber, crushed and mixed with water, 
is given to quench their thirst, and when the animals 
have drunk it they are seized with nausea and vomit 
and so are purged ; when all the bile has been dis- 
charged, they are given chick-pea or beans sprinkled 
with hard brine, after which they are allowed to drink 

* anguinei i? : sanguine! *S^. 



spersa, deinde, sicut hominibus, aqua calida potanda 

6 Sed cum omni quadruped! per aestatem sitis 
sit infesta, turn suillo maxime est inimica. Quare 
non ut capellam vel ovem, sic et hoc animal bis ^ ad 
aquam duci praecipimus : ^ sed si fieri potest, iuxta 
flumen aut stagnum per ortum Caniculae detineri : 
quia cum sit aestuosissimum, non est contentum 
potione aquae, nisi obesam ingluviem atque distentara 
pabulis alvum demerserit ac refrigeraverit : nee uUa 
re magis gaudet, quam rivis atque caenoso lacu volu- 

7 tari. Quod si locorum situs repugnat, ne ita fieri 
possit, puteis extracta et large canalibus immissa 
praebenda sunt pocula, quibus nisi affatim satientur, 
pulmonariae fiunt. Isque ^ morbus optime sanatur 
auriculis inserta consiligine : de qua radicula dili- 

8 genter ac saepius iam locuti sumus. Solet etiam 
vitiosi splenis dolor eas infestare, quod accidit, cum 
siccitas ^ magna provenit, et, ut Bucolicum loquitur 

Strata iacent passim sua quaeque sub arbore 

Nam pecus inexsatiabile ^ sues, dum dulcedinem 
pabuli consectantur supra modum, aestate splenis • 
incremento laborant. Cui succurritur, si fabri- 
centur canales tamaricis ' et rusco, repleanturque 
aqua, et deinde sitientibus admoveantur; quippe 

1 bis 52 : vis 5M : om. R. 

* praecipimus R : precepimus SA. 

* isque ed. pr. : quiq; E : quisq; S^A. 

* ficitas A : sicitas S. 

* inexitiabiles bis SA^ : inexitiaviles bis A^. 

* esbatae splenis SAac. 

' tramaricis Ji : tramaricua SA. 


BOOK VII. X. 5-8 

warm water, as men are allowed to do in similar 

While thirst in the summer is pernicious to all 6 
quadrupeds, it is specially hurtful to pigs. We, 
therefore, advise that they should not be taken to 
water twice a day, like goats and sheep, but that, if 
possible, they should be kept in the neighbourhood 
of a river or pool at the time of the rising of the 
Dogstar ; for, when a pig is feeling the intense heat, 
it is not content with drinking the water, if it cannot 
also plunge into it and so cool its fat maw and its 
belly distended with fodder, and there is nothing in 
which it takes so much pleasure as wallowing in 
streams and muddy lakes. But if the nature of the 
district makes this impossible, drinking water should 7 
be drawn from wells and poured into troughs in 
generous supply; for, unless they are abundantly 
satisfied, their lungs become affected. This disease 
is best treated by inserting lungwort into the ears, a 
small root of which we have already more than once 
spoken about and in detail. Pain from a diseased spleen 8 
also often attacks them ; this happens when a serious 
drought occurs and when, as the Bucolic poem says,* 

Fruits lie on all sides, each strewn 'neath its tree. 

For pigs, being insatiable animals, make for sweet- 
ness in their food beyond measure and suffer 
exceedingly in the summer from swelling of the 
spleen. This can be relieved if troughs made of 
tamarisk wood and butcher's broom are constructed 
and filled with water and put in their way when 
they are thirsty; for the juice of the wood has a 

« VergU, Eel VII. 54. 



ligni succus medicabilis epotus intestinum tumorem 

XI. Castrationis autem in ^ hoc pecore duo tem- 
pora servantur, veris et autumni : et eius adminis- 
trandae duplex ratio. Prima ilia, quam iam tradidi- 
mus, cum duobus vulneribus impressis per unam- 
quamque plagam singuli exprimuntur testiculi. 
Altera est speciosior, sed magis periculosa, quam 

2 tamen non omittam. Cum virilem partem unajn 
ferro reseratam ^ detraxeris, per impressum vulnus 
scalpellum inserito, et mediam quasi cutem, quae 
intervenit duobus membris genitalibus, rescindito, 
atque uncis digitis alterum quoque testiculum 
educito : sic fiet una cicatrix adhibitis ceteris 
remediis, quae prius docuimus. Illud autem, quod 
pertinet ad religionem ^ patrisfamilias, non reticen- 

3 dum putavi. Sunt quaedam scrofae, quae mandunt 
fetus suos : quod cum fit, non habetur prodigium. 
Nam sues ex omnibus pecudibus * impatientissimae 
famis aliquando sic indigent pabuli, ut non tantum 
alienam, si liceat, sobolem, sed etiam suam consu- 

XII. De armentis ceterisque pecudibus et magis- 
tris, per quos quadrupedum greges humana solertia * 
domi forisque curantur atque observantur, nisi fallor, 
satis accurate disserui. Nunc ut exordio priore sum 

^ in om. SAR. 

^ reseratam S : resecatam Aac. 

^ regionem SA. 

* pecudibus B : om. SA. 

^ consummant a : consumat SAc. 

• solertia i? : sollerti <S^^. 

» I.e. one testicle. 

* I.e. which may suggest superstitious fancies to his mind. 

BOOK VII. X. 8-xii. I 

medicinal effect and, being swallowed, stops intestinal 

XL Two seasons are observed for castrating the 
pig, spring and autumn. There are two methods of 
can-ying out this operation. The first, which we 
have already described, consists of making two 
incisions and squeezing out a testicle through each 
of them. The other is more spectacular but more 
dangerous ; but I will not pass it over in silence. 
When you have opened up with the knife and drawn 2 
out one of the male organs,* insert a lancet through 
the wound that has been made ; then cut the middle 
skin, as it were, which intervenes between the two 
genital members, and with your bent fingers draw 
out the other testicle also ; the result will be that 
there will be only one scar after the application of the 
other remedies which we have described earlier. 
But there is one point, which concerns the religious 
scruples of the head of the family, ** and which I have 3 
thought that I ought not to pass over in silence, 
namely, that there are some breeding-sows which 
devour their young. When this happens, it is not 
regarded as a prodigy ; for pigs, of all farm-animals, 
are the least able to endure hunger, and sometimes 
feel such need of food that they consume not only 
the offspring of other sows, if they are allowed to do 
so, but also their own young. 

XII. I have now, unless I am mistaken, dealt in Dogs, 
sufficient detail with animals used for ploughing and 
other cattle and with the herdsmen who are employed 
to look after and watch over flocks of four-footed 
animals at home and out of doors with all the resources 
of human intelligence. Now, as I promised in the 
earlier part of my treatise, I will speak of the 



pollicitus, de mutis custodibus loquar; quamquam 
canis falso dicitur mutus custos. Nam quis hominum 
clarius aut tanta vociferatione bestiam vel furem 
praedicat, quam iste latratu ? quis famulus amantior 
domini ? quis fidelior comes ? quis custos incor- 
ruptior? quis excubitor inveniri potest vigilantior? 
quis denique ultor aut vindex constantior? Quare 
vel in primis hoc animal mercari tuerique debet 
agricola, quod et villani et fructus familiamque et 
pecora custodit. Eius autem parandi tuendique 

2 triplex ratio est. Namque unum genus adversus 
hominum ^ insidias eligitur, et id villam quaeque 
iuncta sunt villae custodit. At alterum ^ propellen- 
dis iniuriis hominum ac ferarum ; et id observat domi 
stabulum, foris pecora pascentia. Tertium venandi 
gratia comparatur ; idque non solum nihil agricolam 
iuvat, sed et avocat desidemque ab opere suo reddit. 

3 De villatico ^ igitur et pastorali dicendum est : nam 
venaticus nihil pertinet ad nostram professionem. 

Villae custos eligendus est amplissimi corporis, vasti 
latratus canorique, ut prius auditu maleficum, deinde 
etiam conspectu terreat, et tamen nonnunquam ne 
visus quidem horribili fremitu suo fuget insidiantem. 
Sit autem coloris unius; isque magis eligatur albus 

^ post hominum add. et ferarum B. 
2 laterum S^A^. 
* villatigo /S : vitlatigo^^. 


dumb guardians of the flocks, though it is wrong to 
speak of the dog as a dumb guardian ; for what human 
being more clearly or so vociferously gives warning 
of the presence of a wild beast or of a thief as does 
the dog by its barking? What servant is more 
attached to his master than is a dog? What com- 
panion more faithful? What guardian more in- 
corruptible ? What more wakeful night-watchman 
can be found? Lastly, what more steadfast 
avenger or defender ? To buy and keep a dog ought, 
therefore, to be among the first things which a farmer 
does, because it is the guardian of the farm, its pro- 
duce, the household and the cattle. There are three 2 
different reasons for procuring and keeping a dog. 
One type of dog is chosen to oppose the plots of 
human beings and watches over the farm and all its 
appurtenances ; a second kind for repelling the 
attacks of men and wild beasts and keeping an eye 
at home on the stables and abroad on the flocks as 
they feed ; the third kind is acquired for the purposes 
of the chase, and not only does not help the farmer 
but actually lures him away from his work and 
makes him lazy about it. We must, therefore, speak 3 
of the farm-yard dog and the sheep-dog; for the 
sporting hound has nothing to do with the art which 
we profess. 

As guardian of the farm a dog should be chosen 
which is of ample bulk with a loud and sonorous bark 
in order that it may terrify the malefactor, first 
because he hears it and thenbecausehe sees it; indeed, 
sometimes without being even seen it puts to flight the 
crafty plotter merely by the terror which its growling 
inspires. It should be the same colour all over, white 
being the colour which should rather be chosen for a 


in pastorali, niger in villatico : nam varius in neutro 
est laudabilis. Pastor album probat, quoniam est 
ferae dissimilis, magnoque opus interdum discrimine 
est in propulsandis lupis sub obscuro mane vel etiam 

4 crepusculo, ne pro bestia ^ canem feriat. Villaticus, 
qui hominum malefieiis opponitur, sive luce clara fur 
advenit,^ terribilior niger conspicitur : sive noctu,' 
ne conspicitur quidem propter umbrae similitudinem, 
quamobrem tectus tenebris canis tutiorem accessum 
habet ad insidiantem, Probatur quadratus potius 
quam longus aut brevis, capite tarn magno, ut cor- 
poris videatur pars maxima, deiectis et propendenti- 
bus auribus, nigris vel glaucis oculis acri lumine 
radiantibus, amplo villosoque pectore, latis armis, 
cruribus crassis et hirtis, cauda brevi, vestigiorum 
articulis * et unguibus amplissimis, qui Graece 
SpaKes appellantur. Hie erit villatici canis status 

5 praecipue laudandus. Mores autem neque mitis- 
simi, neque rursus truces atque crudeles; quod illi 
furem quoque adulantur, hi etiam domesticos in- 
vadunt. Satis est severos esse nee blandos, ut non- 
nunquam etiam conserves iratius intueantur, semper 
excandescant in exteros. Maxime autem debent in 
custodia vigilantes conspici, nee erronei,^ sed assidui 

^ vestio S : bestico A^. 

* advenit S : -erit AR. 

' noctu ne S : nocte ne A : nocte nee ac. 

* auriculis SA. 

* errore ne S^ : errore A : erronei a : arronei c. 



sheep-dog and black for a farm-yard dog ; for a 
dog of varied colouring is not to be recommended for 
either purpose. The shepherd prefers a white dog 
because it is unlike a wild beast, and sometimes a 
plain means of distinction is required in the dogs 
when one is driving off wolves in the obscurity of early 
morning or even at dusk, lest one strike a dog instead 
of a wild beast. The farmyard dog, which is pitted 4 
against the wicked wiles of men, if the thief 
approaches in the clear light of day, has a more 
alarming appearance if it is black, whereas at night 
it is not even seen because it resembles the shadow and 
so, under the cover of darkness, the dog can approach 
the crafty thief in greater security. A squarely 
built dog is preferred to one which is long or short, 
and it should have a head so large as to appear to 
form the largest part of it ; it should have ears which 
droop and hang down, eyes black or grey, sparkling 
with rays of bright light, a broad and shaggy chest, 
wide shoulders, thick, rough legs and a short tail; 
the joints of its feet and its claws, which the Greeks 
call drakes, should be very large. Such are the 
points which will meet with most approval in all 
farm-yard dogs. In character they should neither be 5 
very mild nor, on the other hand, savage and cruel ; 
if they are mild, they fawn on everyone, including the 
thief; if they are fierce they attack even the people 
of the house. It is enough that they should be stern 
but not fawning, so that they sometimes look even 
upon their companions in servitude with a somewhat 
wrathful eye, while they always blaze with anger 
against strangers. Above all they should be seen to 
be vigilant in their watch and not given to wandering, 
but diligent and cautious rather than rash; for the 


et circumspecti magis quam temerarii.^ Nam illi 
nisi ^ quod certum compererunt, non indicant : hi 

6 vano strepitu et falsa suspicione concitantur. Haec 
idcirco memoranda credidi, quia non natura tantum, 
sed etiam disciplina ^ mores facit, ut et cum emendi 
potestas fuerit, eiusmodi probemus, et cum educabi- 

7 mus domi natos, talibus institutis ^ formemus. Nee 
multum refert an ^ villatici corporibus graves et 
parum veloces sint : plus enim cominus et in gradu, 
quam eminus et in spatioso cursu facere debent. 
Nam semper circa septa et intra aedificium consistere, 
immo ne longius quidem recedere debent, satisque 
pulchre funguntur officio, si et advenientem sagaciter 
odorantur,^ et latratu conterrent, nee patiuntur 
propius ' accedere,^ vel constantius appropinquantem 
violenter invadunt. Primum est enim non adten- 
tari, secundum est lacessitum fortiter et perseveranter 
vindicari. Atque haec de domesticis custodibus; 
ilia de pastoralibus.^ 

8 Pecuarius canis neque tam strigosus aut pernix 
debet esse, quam qui damas cervosque et velocissima 
sectatur animalia, nee tam obesus aut gravis, quam 
villae horreique custos : sed et robustus nihilominus, 

9 et aliquatenus promptus ac strenuus, quoniam et ad 
rixam et ad pugnam, nee minus ^"^ ad cursum compara- 
tur, cum et lupi ^^ repellere insidias, et raptorem 

1 temeri SA. 

" nam illi nisi ac : quam inlinisi SA. 

* disciplina SA. 

* institutis S : -i A. 

* refert an R : refertam an ^ * : refertam SA ^, 
" adoriantura: odorantur c : oderantur 5^^. 
' proprius SAac. * accidere 8A^. 

* pastoribus SAa : pastoralibus c. 

" tameniS/1. ii rupi S^. 



cautious do not give the alarm unless they have 
discovered something for certain, whereas the rash 
are aroused by any vain noise and groundless 
suspicion. I have thought it necessary to mention 6 
these points, because it is not nature alone but educa- 
tion as well which forms character, so that, when there 
is an opportunity of buying a dog, we may choose one 
with these qualities and that when we are going to 
train dogs which have been born at home, we may 
bring them up on such principles as these. It does 7 
not matter much if farm-yard dogs are heavily built 
and lack speed, since they have to function rather at 
close quarters and where they are posted than at a 
distance and over a wide area ; for they should always 
remain round the enclosures and within the buildings, 
indeed they ought never go out farther from home 
and can perfectly well carry out their duties by 
cleverly scenting out anyone who approaches and 
frightening him by barking and not allowing him to 
come any nearer, or, if he insists on approaching, they 
violently attack him. Their first duty is not to allow 
themselves to be attacked, their second duty to de- 
fend themselves with courage and pertinacity if they 
are provoked. So much for the dogs which guard 
the house; our next subject is sheep-dogs. 

A dog which is to guard cattle ought not to be as 8 
lean and swift of foot as one which pursues deer and 
stags and the swiftest animals, nor so fat and heavily 
built as the dog which guards the farm and granary, 
but he must, nevertheless, be strong and to a certain 
extent prompt to act and vigorous, since the purpose 9 
for which he is acquired is to pick quarrels and to 
fight and also to move quickly, since he has to repel 
the stealthy lurking of the wolf and to follow the 



ferum consequi fugientem praedam excutere atque 
auferre debeat. Quare status ^ eius longior pro- 
ductiorque ad hos casus magis habilis est quam brevis 
aut etiam quadratus : quoniam, ut dixi, nonnun- 
quam necessitas exigit celeritate bestiam ^ con- 
sectandi. Ceteri ^ artus similes membris villatici 
canis aeque probantur. 

10 Cibaria fere eadem sunt utrique generi praebenda. 
Nam si tam laxa rura sunt, ut sustineant * pecorum 
greges, omnes sine discrimine canes hordeacea farina 
cum sero commode pascit. Sin autem surculo con- 
situs ager sine pascuo est,^ farreo vel triticeo pane 
satiandi sunt, admixto tamen liquore coctae fabae, 
sed tepido : nam fervens ^ rabiem creat. 

11 Huic quadrupedi neque feminae neque mari nisi 
post annum permittenda venus est : quae si teneris 
conceditur, carpit et corpus et vires ^ animosque 
degenerat. Primus effetae partus amovendus est, 
quoniam tiruncula nee recte nutrit, et educatio totius 
habitus aufert incrementum. Mares iuveniliter 
usque in annos decern progenerant: post id 
tempus ineundis feminis non videntur habiles, 
quoniam seniorum pigra soboles existit. Feminae 
concipiunt usque in annos novem, nee ® sunt utiles 

12 post decimum. Catulos sex mensibus primis, dum 
corroborentur,^ emitti non oportet, nisi ad matrem 
lusus ac lasciviae causa. Postea catenis per diem 

^ debeat quare status om. SA . 

* celeritate bestiam J? : celeriteratem bestii A^ : celeriter 
aute bestii S. 

' consectandi ceteri It : consectam dicere SA. 

* sustineat SA. * est ii : et SA. 

* fervens R : nam ferventi S : non aferventi A. 
' veteres SA. 

* nee om. SA. ' corroboretur 8 A. 


BOOK VII. XII. 9-12 

wild beast as he escapes with his prey and make him 
drop it and to bring it back again. Therefore a dog 
of a rather long, slim build is better able to deal with 
these emergencies than one which is short or even 
squarely built, since, as I have said, sometimes the 
necessity of pursuing a wild beast with speed demands 
this. The other joints in sheep-dogs if they resemble 
the limbs of farm-yard dogs meet with equal approval. 

Practically the same food should be given to both 10 
types of dog. If the farm is extensive enough to 
support herds of cattle, barley-flour with whey is a 
suitable food for all dogs without distinction ; but if 
the land is closely planted with young shoots and 
affords no pasture, they must be given their fill of 
bread made from emmer or wheaten flour, mixed, 
however, with the liquid of boiled beans, which must 
be lukewarm, for, if it is boiling, it causes madness. 

Neither dogs nor bitches must be allowed to have 11 
sexual intercourse until they are a year old ; for if 
they are allowed to do so when they are quite young, 
it enfeebles their bodies and their strength, and 
causes them to degenerate mentally. The first 
puppies which a bitch produces must be taken from 
her, because at the first attempt she does not nourish 
them properly and the rearing of them hinders her 
general bodily growth. Dogs procreate vigorously 
up to ten years of age, but beyond that they do not 
seem suitable for covering bitches, for the offspring 
of an elderly dog turns out to be slow and lazy. 
Bitches conceive up to nine years of age, but are not 
serviceable after the tenth year. Puppies should 
not be allowed to run loose during the first six months, 12 
until they are grown strong, except to join their 
mother in sport and play ; later they should be kept 



continendi, et noctibus solvendi. Nee unquam eos, 
quorum generosam ^ volumus indolem eonservare, 
patiemur alienae nutricis uberibus educari : quoniam 
semper et lae et spiritus maternus longe magis ingenii 

13 atque incrementa corporis auget.^ Quod si effeta ^ 
lacte deficitur, caprinum maxime conveniet praeberi 
catulis,^ dum fiant ^ mensum quattuor. 

Nominibus autem non longissimis appellandi sunt, 
quo celerius quisque vocatus exaudiat : nee tamen 
brevioribus quam quae duabus syllabis enuntientur, 
sicuti Graecum est cr/cuAa^, Latinum yeroa;, Graecum 
Aa/ccov, Latinum celer : vel femina, ut sunt Graeca 
aiTOvdrj, aXK-q, pay^r] : Latina, lupa, cerva, tigris. 

14 Catulorum caudas post diem quadragesimum, quam 
sint editi, sic castrare ^ conveniet. Nervus est, qui per 
articulos spinae prorepit usque ad ultimam partem 
caudae : is mordicus ' comprehensus ® et aliquatenus 
eductus abrumpitur : quo facto neque in longitu- 
dinem cauda foedum capit incrementum, et, ut 
plurimi pastores affirmant, rabies arcetur letifer 
morbus huic generi. 

XIII. Fere autem per aestatem sic muscis aures 
canum exulcerantur, saepe ut totas amittant : quod 
ne fiat, amaris nucibus contritis liniendae sunt. 
Quod si ulceribus iam praeoccupatae fuerint, coctam 
picem liquidam suillae adipi mixtam ^ vulneribus 

1 generosa SA. " aget SA'^. 

3 et fata SA. * catulus SA. 

5 fiat SAB. « siccatrare S^A^. 

' modice SAR. 

" comprehensus i? : compressus 5^. 

' mixtam add. Aldus. 

" Xenophon, Cyneg., VII. 5, gives a list of 8ome fifty names 
of dogs. They all are words of two syllables. 



on the chain during the day and let loose at night. 
We should never allow those whose noble qualities 
we wish to preserve, to be brought up at the dugs of 
any strange bitch, since its mother's milk and spirit 
always does much more to foster the growth of their 
minds and bodies. But if a bitch which has a litter is 13 
deficient in milk, it will be best to provide goats' 
milk for the puppies until they are four months old. 

Dogs should be called by names which are not 
very long, so that each may obey more quickly when 
he is called, but they should not have shorter names 
than those which are pronounced in two syllables," 
such as the Greek HKvXa^ (puppy) and the Latin 
Ferox (savage), the Greek AaKcov (Spartan) and the 
Latin CeZer (speedy) or, for a bitch, the Greek UttovSti 
(zeal), 'AXK-q (Valour), 'PcojU-Ty (strength) or the Latin 
Lupa (she-wolf), Cerva (hind) and Tigris (tigress). 14 
It will be found best to cut the tails of puppies forty 
days after birth in the following manner : there is a 
nerve, which passes along through the joints of the 
spine down to the extremity of the tail ; this is taken 
between the teeth and drawn out a little way and 
then broken. As a result, the tail never grows to an 
ugly length and (so many shepherds declare) rabies, 
a disease which is fatal to this animal, is prevented.'' 

XIII. It commonly happens that in the summer the Eemedies 
ears of dogs are so full of sores caused by flies, that eases of ' 
they often lose their ears altogether. To prevent '^°sa. 
this, the ears should be rubbed with crushed bitter 
almonds. If, however, the ears are already covered 
with sores, it will be found a good plan to drip boiled 
liquid pitch mixed with lard on the wounds. Ticks 

» This is quoted by Pliny, N.H. VIII. § 153. 


stillari conveniet. Hoc eodem ^ medicamine con- 
tact! ricini decidunt. Nam manu non sunt vellendi, 

2 ne, ut et ante praedixeram, faciant ^ ulcera.^ Puli- 
cosae cani remedia sunt sive cyminum tritum pari 
pondere cum veratro, aquaque mixtum et inlitum ; 
seu cucumeris anguinei ^ succus : vel si haec non 
sunt, vetus amurca per totum corpus infusa. Si 
scabies infestabit, gypsi et sesami tantundem con- 
terito, et cum pice liquida permisceto, vitiosamque 
partem linito : quod medicamentum putatur etiam 
hominibus esse conveniens. Eadem pestis si fuerit 
vehementior, cedrino ^ liquore aboletur. Reliqua 
vitia sicut in ceteris animalibus praecepimus, curanda 

3 Hactenus de minore pecore. Mox de villaticis 
pastionibus, quae continent volucrum pisciumque et 
silvestrium quadrupedum curam, sequenti volumine 

^ edem S : eadem AR. 

* faciant It : faciunt SA. 

' ulcera S : 'ultra A : vulnera R. 

* angiiinei R : sanguine! SA. 

^ vehementior cedrino R : cedrino vehementer SA. 



also fall off if they are touched with this same pre- 
paration ; for they ought not to be plucked off by 
hand, lest, as we have remarked also before, they cause 
sores. A dog which is infested with fleas should be 
treated either with crushed cumin mixed in water 
with the same quantity of hellebore and smeared on, 
or else with the juice of the snake-like cucumber, or 
if these are unobtainable, with stale oil-lees poured 
over the whole body. If a dog is attacked by the 
scab, gypsum and sesame should be ground together 
in equal quantities and mixed with liquid pitch and 
smeared on the part affected ; this remedy is reported 
to be suitable also for human beings. If this plague 
has become rather violent, it is got rid of by the 
juice of the cedar-tree. The other diseases of dogs 
will have to be treated according to the instructions 
which we have given for the other animals. 

So much for the lesser domestic animals. In the 
next book we will give instructions about the keeping 
of live stock at the farm-house, which includes the 
care of fowls, fish and four-footed wild creatures. 




I. Quae fere consummabant, Publi Silvine, ruris 
experiendi ^ scientiam, quaeque pecuariae negotia- 
tionis exigebat ratio, septem memoravimus libris. 
Hie nunc sequentis numeri titulum possidebit : nee ^ 
quia proximam propriamque rustici curam desiderent 
ea, quae dicturi sumus, sed quia non alio loco, quam 
in agris aut villis debeant administrari, et tamen 

2 agrestibus magis, quam urbanis prosint. Quippe 
villaticae pastiones, sicut pecuariae, non minimam 
colono stipem conferunt, cum et avium stercore 
macerrimis vineis et omni surculo atque arvo 
medeantur ; et eisdem familiarem focum ^ mensam- 
que pretiosis ^ dapibus opulentent ; ^ postremo 
venditorum animalium pretio villae reditum augeant. 
Quare* de hoc quoque genere pastionis dicendum 

3 censui. Est autem id fere ' vel in villa, vel circa 

In villa est, quod appellant Graeci opvidoJvag, Koi 
TTepicTTepecovas ', atque etiam cum datur liquoris * 
facultas l^6vorpo<j>€.Za sedula cura exercentur. Ea 

^ experiendi SA : exercendis experiendique a : et exer- 
cendique c. 
^ nee om. SA. 
^ focum Aac : locum S. 

* pretiosis Sac : pretioribus A. 

* opulentent A : -ant c : -et S : -em a. 

* quare ac : c^e SA. ' fere 5ac : ferret. 

* liquoris Aac : litoris S. 



I. We have now, Publius Silvinus, dealt in seven Of the 
books with what practically constituted a complete tMs"nd 
account of the science of gaining knowledge of the ^^ °° *'*'^ 
land and all that was required for the business of 
raising cattle. Our present book shall bear the 
next number, eight, for its title, not that the subject 
of which we are going to speak demands the close and 
particular attention of the farmer, but because it 
ought not to be undertaken except in the country and 
on the farm, and brings benefit to country-folk rather 
than to town-dwellers. For the keeping of animals 2 
at the farm, as of cattle on the pasture, brings no 
small profit to farmers, since they use the dung of 
fowls to doctor the leanest vines and every kind of 
young tree and every kind of soil, and with the fowls 
themselves they enrich the family kitchen and table 
by providing rich fare ; and, lastly, with the price 
which they obtain by selling animals they increase 
the revenue of the farm. Therefore I have thought 
it fitting that I should speak also of the keeping of 
this kind of animal. But it is generally carried on 
either at the farm or in its neighbourhood. 

At the farm there are what the Greeks call opvL- 3 
^cDi^e? and TrepiGTepecbveg (poultry-houses and dove- 
cotes), and also, where a supply of water is available, 
lxdvorpo<f)eXa (fish-ponds), the management of which 
requires unremitting care. All these, to use by 




sunt omnia, ut Latine potius loquamur, sicut avium 
cohortalium stabula, nee minus earum, quae con- 
clavibus saeptae saginantur, vel aquatilium animalium 
4 receptacula. Rursus circa villam ponuntur /xeAta- 
aciJves Kal ;j^rjvoTpo^era, quin etiam Xayorpot^ela 
studiose administrantur,quae nos similiter appellamus 
apum cubilia, apiaria, vel nantium volucrum, quae 
stagnis piscinisque laetantur, aviaria, vel etiam 
pecudum silvestrium, quae nemoribus clausis custo- 
diuntur, vivaria. 

II. Prius igitur de his praecipiam, quae intra saepta 
villae pascuntur.i Ac de aliis quidem forsitan 
ambigatur,2 an sint agrestibus possidenda : galli- 
narum vero plerumque agricolae cura solennis est. 
Earum genera sunt vel cohortalium,^ vel rusticarum 

2 vel Africanarum. Cohortalis est avis, quae vulgo 
per omnes fere villas conspicitur : rustica, quae non 
dissimilis villaticae per aucupem decipitur, eaque 
plurima est in insula, quam nautae in Ligustico marl 
sitam producto nomine alitis Gallinariam vocita- 
verunt: Africana est, quam plerique Numidicam 
dicunt, Meleagridi similis, nisi quod rutilam galeam 
et cristam capite * gerit, quae utraque sunt in 

3 Meleagride caerulea. Sed ex his tribus generibus 
cohortales feminae proprie appellantur gallinae, 
mares autem galli, semimares capi, qui hoc nomine 

^ post pascuntur add. quod sint genera gallinarum ac. 

2 ambigatur c : ambigantur SAa. 

' cohortalium A : chortalium S. * capite om. 8. 

" Variously identified as hazel-hen, heath-hen, field-hen and 
red-legged partridge. 

* This island is still called by this name and lies off Albengo, 
three miles E. of Alassio on the Italian Riviera. 

' Probably the guinea-fowl. 


BOOK VIII. I. 3-II. 3 

preference the terms employed in our own language, 
are enclosures for farm-yard fowls and likewise for 
birds which are fattened in coops, or else for aquatic 
animals. On the other hand, in the neighbourhood 4 
of the farm [xeXLcraaJves and x^^^'^P^^^^'^ (bee-hives 
and goose-pens) find their place, and there are also 
carefully managed XayoTpocf)€La (feeding-places for 
hares). To these we give a set of similar names, 
speaking of apiaries, where bees are lodged, aviaries 
for swimming birds which take their pleasure in pools 
and fish-ponds, and vivaria for wild creatures which 
are confined in enclosed woodlands. 

II. First then I will give instructions about the of the 
creatures which are fed within the precincts of the of "a'rm-^''^*^ 
farm. With regards to other animals it may yard 
perhaps be doubted whether country people should ^°" '^^' 
possess them ; but the keeping of hens by farmers is 
quite a general practice. They fall into three 
classes, the farm-yard fowl, the " rustic "-hen ^ and the 
African fowl. The farm-yard fowl is the bird 2 
commonly to be seen on almost every farm. The 
" rustic "-cock which is not very different from the 
farm-yard bird and is caught by the wiles of the 
fowler, is found in the greatest number in the island 
in the Ligurian sea to which sailors have given the 
name Gallinaria,'' a lengthened form of the Latin 
word for hen. The African fowl," which most people 
call Numidian, resembles the meleagris,^ except 
that it has on its head a red helmet and crest, both of 
which are blue on the meleagris. Of these three kinds 3 
the female farm-yard fowls alone are properly called 
hens, its males being called cocks and the half-males 

^ Our term for the turkey family, Meleagridae, is derived 
from this word. 


vocantur, cum sunt castrati libidinis abolendae causa. 
Nee tamen id patiuntur amissis genitalibus, sed ferro 
candente calcaribus inustis, quae cum ignea vi con- 
sumpta sunt, facta ulcera dum consanescant, figulari 
creta linuntur. 

4 Huius igitur villatici generis non spernendus est 
reditus, si adhibeatur educandi scientia, quam pleri- 
que Graecorum et praecipue celebravere Deliaci. 
Sed et hi, quoniam procera corpora et animos ^ ad 
proelia pertinaces requirebant, praecipue Tanagri- 
cum genus et Rhodium probabant, nee minus Chalci- 
dicum 2 et Medicum, quod ab imperito vulgo htera 

5 mutata Melicum appellatur. Nobis nostrum verna- 
eulum maxime placet : omisso tamen illo studio 
Graecorum, qui ferocissimum quemque alitem certa- 
minibus et pugnae praeparabant. Nos enim cense- 
mus instituere vectigal industrii patrisfamilias, non 
rixosaruni ^ avium lanistae, cuius plerumque totum 
patrimonium, pignus aleae, victor gallinaceus pyetes 

6 Igitur cui placebit sequi nostra praecepta, con- 
sideret oportet primum quam multas, et cuiusmodi 
parare debeat matrices, deinde qualiter eas tutari * et 
pascere ; mox quibus anni temporibus earum partus 
exeipere; tum demum ut incubent et excludant 
efficere ; postremo ut commode pulli educentur 

^ animos ac : animos-a (a erasa) A : animosa S. 

* calchidicum Sc : calcidicum Aa. 
' rixiosarum Sa. 

* tutari SAc : tueri a. 

" From Tanagra in Boeotia. 

^ From Chalcis in the island of Euboea. 

' I.e. Persian. 


capons ; they are given this name because they have 
been castrated to rid them of sexual desire. They 
do not, however, suffer castration by the loss of their 
genital organs but by having their spurs burnt with 
a red-hot iron ; when these have been consumed by 
the force of the fire, they are smeared with potter's 
clay until the sores which have been caused heal up. 

The profit from keeping the farm-yard type of fowl 4 
is not to be despised if a scientific method of rearing 
them is put into operation, which most of the Greeks 
and in particular the people of Delos have made 
famous. The Greeks, however, since they desired 
height of body and determined courage in the fray, 
esteemed most highly the Tanagran " and Rhodian 
breeds and likewise the Chalcidian ^ and Median " 
(called by the ignorant vulgar Melian,'* by the change 
of one letter). We take most pleasure in our own 5 
native breed ; however, we lack the zeal displayed by 
the Greeks who prepared the fiercest birds they could 
find for contests and fighting. Our aim is to establish 
a source of income for an industrious master of a 
house, not for a trainer of quarrelsome birds, whose 
whole patrimony, pledged in a gamble, generally is 
snatched from him by a victorious fighting ^-cock. 

He, therefore, who shall be minded to follow our 6 
instructions, should consider first with how many and 
what kind of breeding-hens he ought to provide 
himself, and then how he ought to look after and 
feed them ; next, at what seasons of the year he ought 
to reserve the eggs which they produce ; then he 
should arrange for their setting and hatching, and 
finally take thought for the proper rearing of the 

^ I.e. from the island of Melos, one of the Cyclades. 
' A ' boxer.' 



operam dare. His enim curis et ministeriis exercetur 
ratio cohortalis, quam Graeci vocant 6pvidorpo<j>iav. 

7 Parandi autem modus est ducentorum capitum, 
quae pastoris unius curam dispendant ^ : dum tamen 
anus sedula vel puer adhibeatur custos vagantium, 
ne obsidiis hominum, aut insidiatorum ^ animalium 
diripiantur. Mercari porro nisi fecundissimas aves 
non expedit. Eae sint rubicundae vel infuscae ^ 
plumae, nigrisque pinnis * : ac si fieri poterit, omnes 
huius, et ab hoc proximi coloris eligantur. Sin aliter, 
vitentur ^ albae ; quae fere cum sint molles ac minus 
vivaces, tum ne fecundae quidem facile reperi- 
untur : ^ atque etiam conspicuae propter insigne 
candoris ab accipitribus et aquilis saepius abripi- 

8 untur. Sint ergo matrices robii coloris "^ quadratae, 
pectorosae, magnis capitibus, rectis rutilisque cristu- 
lis,^ albis auribus, et sub hac specie quam amplissi- 
mae, nee paribus ungulis : ^ generosissimaeque ^^ 
creduntur, quae quinos habent digitos, sed ita ne 
cruribus emineant transversa calcaria. Nam quae 
hoc virile gerit insigne, contumax ad concubitum 
dedignatur ^^ admittere marem, raroque fecunda, 
etiam cum incubat, calcis aculeis ova perfringit. 

^ dispendeat c : distendant SAa. 

^ insidiatorum 8A : insidiosonim ac. 

' infuscae SAc : fuscae a. 

* pinnis SAc : pennis a. 

^ vitentur a : evitentur c : viterbitentur 8 A. 

' reperiantur codd. 

' robii coloris S : robusta coloris A : probi coloris ac. 

* rectis rutulisque cristulis c : rectis rutilis SA : rectilis 
(rectis a^) rutulisque cristulis a^. 

* ungulis ac : unguibus <Syl. 

10 generosissimeque ac : generosis eque 8 : generosis seque 


BOOK VIII. 11. 6-8 

chickens. For it is by attention to these points and 
management that the business of poultry-keeping, 
which the Greeks call 6pvi6orpo(l>ia (bird-rearing), is 
carried out. 

Two hundred head are the limit which should be 7 
acquired fully to employ the care of one person to 
feed them, provided, however, that an industrious 
old woman or a boy be set to watch over the fowls 
which go astray, so that they may not be carried off 
by the wiles of men or of animals which lie in wait 
for them. Further only the most prolific fowls 
should be bought. They should have red or darkish 
plumage and black wings ; and, if this is possible, 
they should be chosen of the latter colour all over 
and of the nearest colour to it. Failing these colours, 
white hens should be avoided ; for, while they are 
delicate and not very long-lived, it is also not easy to 
find white fowls which are prolific : also, being con- 
spicuous owing to their remarkably light colour they 
are rather often carried off by hawks and eagles. Let 8 
your brood-hens, therefore, be of a red colour, square- 
built, big-breasted, with large heads, straight, red 
crests, white ears ; they should be the largest obtain- 
able which present this appearance and should not 
have an even number of claws. Those are reckoned 
the best-bred which have five toes ° but without any 
cross-spurs proj ecting from their legs ; for a hen 
which has this masculine characteristic is refractory 
and disdains to admit the male to intercourse 
and is rarely prolific, and, when she does sit, 
breaks the eggs with the sharp points of her 

" I.e. four claws and one spur on each leg. 

dedignatur Sac : dedignatam A. 



9 Gallinaceos mares nisi salacissimos habere non 
expedit. Atque in his quoque sicut in feminis, idem 
color, idemque numerus unguium, status altior quaeri- 
tur : sublimes, sanguineaeque, nee obliquae cristae : 
ravidi,^ vel nigrantes oculi : brevia et adunca rostra : 
maximae candidissimaeque aures : paleae ^ ex rutilo 
albicantes, quae velut incanae barbae dependent : 
iubae ^ deinde variae, vel ex auro flavae, per colla 

10 cervicesque in humeros diffusae : turn lata et muscu- 
losa pectora, lacertosaeque similes bracchiis alae, 
tum proeerissimae caudae, duplici ordine, singulis 
utrinque prominentibus pinnis inflexae : quinetiam 
vasta femina * et frequenter horrentibus plumis 
hirta : robusta crura, nee longa, sed infestis velut 

11 sudibus nocenter armata. Mares ^ autem, quamvis 
non ad pugnam neque ad victoriae laudem prae- 
parentur, maxime tamen generosi probantur, ut 
sint elati, alacres, vigilaces, et ad saepius canendum 
prompti, nee qui facile terreantur : nam interdum 
resistere debent, et protegere coniugalem gregem : 
quin et attoUentem minas serpentem, vel aliud 
noxium animal interficere. 

12 Talibus autem maribus quinae singulis feminae 
comparantur.® Nam Rhodii generis aut Medici 
propter gravitatem neque patres nimis salaces, nee 
fecundae matres : quae tamen ternae singulis 
maritantur. Et cum pauca ova posuerunt, inertes 
ad incubandum, multoque magis ad excludendum, 

1 ravidi edd. : rabidi c : rubidi SA : 'rubicundi a. 

* paleae Aac : galeae S. 

* iubae om. A. 

* femina Aac : femini 8. 

* mares 8Aac. 

* comparantur Aac : comparant 8. 


BOOK VIII. n. 9-12 

It is advisable not to keep any but the most salaci- 9 
ous cock-birds and the same colour as in hens, and the 
same number of claws is looked for in them, but a 
loftier stature. Their crest should be high, blood-red 
and not crooked, their eyes darkish or tending 
towards black, their beaks short and hooked, their 
ears very large and white, their wattles bright-red 
tending towards white and hanging down like grey 
beards, their head-feathers of different colours or gold 
shading into yellow and extending over their throats 
and necks on to their shoulders. Their chests should 10 
be broad and muscular, their wings brawny and like 
arms, and their tails very prominent and divided into 
two halves, bending over with a single projecting 
feather on each side. They should also have huge 
thighs, thickly covered with bristling feathers ; their 
legs should be robust but not long, and armed for 
offence with what may be described as stakes ready 
for the attack. These male birds, though they are 11 
not being trained for fighting and the glory of 
winning prizes, are, nevertheless, esteemed as 
well-bred if they are proud, lively, watchful and 
ready to crow frequently and not easily to be 
frightened ; for on occasion they have to act on the 
defensive and protect their flock of wives, nay, even 
to slay a snake which rears its threatening head or 
some other hurtful animal. 

For such male birds as these five hens each are 12 
provided. Of the Rhodian and Median breeds the 
father-birds are not very salacious on account of their 
heavy build, nor are the mother-birds very prolific : 
however, three hens are mated with each cock-bird. 
And when they have laid a few eggs, they are lazy about 
sitting on them and much more so about hatching 



raro fetus suos educant. Itaque quibus cordi est ea 
genera propter corporum speciem possidere, cum 
exceperunt ova generosarum, vulgaribus gallinis 

13 subiciunt, ut ab his exclusi ^ pulli nutriantur. Tana- 
grici plerumque Rhodiis ^ et Medicis amplitudine 
pares, non multum moribus a vernaculis distant, sicut 
et Chalcidici. Omnium tamen horum generum 
nothi 3 sunt optimi * pulli, quos conceptos ex pere- 
grinis maribus nostrates ediderunt. Nam et pater- 
nam speciem gerunt, et salacitatem fecunditatemque 

14 vernaculam retinent. Pumiles ^ aves, nisi quem 
humilitas earum delectat, nee propter fecunditatem, 
nee propter alium reditum nimium probo, tam • 
hercule, quam nee pugnacem ac '^ rixosae ^ libidinis 
marem. Nam plerumque ceteros infestat, et non 
patitur inire feminas, cum ipse pluribus sufficere non 

15 queat. Impedienda est itaque procacitas eius 
ampullaceo corio ; quod cum in orbiculum formatum 
est, media pars eius rescinditur, et per excisam 
partem galli pes inseritur : eaque quasi compede 
cohibentur feri mores. Sed, ut proposui, iam de 
tutela generis universi praecipiam. 

III. Gallinaria constitui debent parte villae, quae 
hibernum spectat orientem : iuncta sint ea furno vel 
culinae, ut ad avem perveniat fumus, qui est huic 

1 exclusi ac : excussi S : excusi A. 

* Rhodiis ac : Hrodiis S : Hordiis A. ' noti ac. 

* post optimi add. sunt SA. 

^ pumiles Ac : pumileas S : humiles a. 

* probo tam c : probatam Sa : -um A. 
' ac serif si : nee codd. 

* rixose a : risose c : rixo SA. 


BOOK VIII. II. i2-in. I 

them, and they rarely bring up their own oifspring. 
Those, therefore, whose hearts are set on possessing 
these breeds on account of their fine appearance, 
when they have set aside the eggs of the well-bred 
hens, put them under ordinary hens, in order that 
the chickens when they are hatched may be brought 
up by the latter. Tanagran fowls, which are usually 13 
equal in size to the Rhodian and Median, do not 
differ greatly from our native fowls in disposition, and 
the same is true of the Chalcidian. But of all these 
breeds the cross-bred chickens are the best, which 
our own hens have produced after conceiving them 
by foreign male birds ; for they show the fine appear- 
ence of their fathers and their own native salacious- 
ness and productivity. I do not highly commend 14 
bantam-hens either for their fecundity or for any other 
return which they give — unless one takes a pleasure 
in their low stature— just as indeed I do not commend 
the bantam-cock either, which is given to fighting 
and whose lust makes him quarrelsome. For it 
generally attacks the other cock-birds and does not 
allow them to cover the hens, though it cannot itself 
suffice for a large number of hens. Its petulance, 15 
therefore, must be checked by means of a piece of 
leather from an old flask, of which, after it has been 
formed into a round shape, the middle part is cut 
away and the cock's foot is inserted through this 
cut-out part, and by this kind of shackle its fierce 
disposition is restrained. But, as I proposed, I will 
now give directions for the care of poultry in general. 

III. Hen-houses should be placed in the part of the now to ^ ^ 
farm which faces the rising sun in winter and should house. 
adjoin the oven or the kitchen, so that the smoke, 
which is particularly beneficial to this kind of animal, 



generi praecipue salutaris. Totius autem officinae, 
id est ornithonis, tres continuae extruuntur celiac, 
quarum, sicuti dixi, perpetua frons orienti ^ sit 

2 obversa. In ea deinde fronte exiguus detur unus 
omnino aditus mediae celiac ; quae ipsa e tribus 
minima esse debet in altitudinem et quoquoversus 
pedes septem. In ea singuli ^ dextro laevoque pariete 
aditus ad utramque cellam faciendi sunt, iuncti 
parieti, qui est intrantibus adversus. Huic autem 
focus applicetur tarn longe, ut nee impediat prae- 
dictos aditus, et ab eo fumus perveniat in utramque 
cellam : eaeque longitudinis et altitudinis duodenos 
pedes habeant, nee plus latitudinis quam media. 

3 Sublimitas dividatur tabulatis, quae supra se quater- 
nos, et infra septenos liberos pedes habeant, quoniam 
ipsa singulos occupant. Utraque tabulata gallinis 
servire debent, et ea parvis ab oriente singulis illu- 
minari fenestellis, quae et ipsae matutinum exitum 
praebeant avibus ^ ad cohortem, nee minus vesper- 
tinum introitum. Sed curandum erit, ut semper 
noctibus claudantur, quo tutius aves maneant. Infra 
tabulata maiores fenestellae * aperiantur, et eae 
clatris muniantur, ne possint noxia irrepere animalia : 
sic tamen, ut illustria sint loca, quo commodius 

4 aditet ^ aviarius, qui ^ subinde debet speculari aut 
incubantes aut parturientes fetus. Nam etiam in 
iis ipsis locis ita crassos parietes aedificare convenit, 

^ orienti Schneider : orientem coM. 

* singuli Sac : singula A. 
^ avibus ac : animoa SA. 

* fenestellae SAa : fenestrae c, Schneider. 

* aditet Schneider : habitet codd. 

* qui ac : quia S : qua A. 



may reach the fowls. Three adjacent cells are con- 
structed to form the whole building or poultry-house 
and, as I have said, their continuous front should 
face the east. In this front there should be one small 2 
entrance provided leading into the middle cell, which 
in itself should be the smallest of the three, being 
seven feet in height and in its other dimensions. In 
this cell entrances should be made in the right and left 
party walls, one leading to each of the other two cells 
and adjoining the wall which faces those who enter the 
central cell. To this wall a hearth should be fixed 
of such a length as not to block the entrances 
already mentioned and to allow the smoke from it to 
penetrate into each of the other two cells. These 
latter should have a length and height of twelve feet 
and no more breadth than the middle cell. The 3 
height should be divided up by lofts with four un- 
occupied feet above them and seven below, since 
they themselves take up one foot. Both lofts 
ought to be used to accommodate the hens and 
should each be lighted by a small v^dndow on the 
east side, which may also provide the birds with a 
means of exit in the morning into the poultry-yard 
and a means of entrance in the evening ; but care 
must be taken that they are always kept closed at 
night that the fowls may remain in greater safety. 
Below the lofts larger windows should be opened up and 
secured with lattice-work, that harmful animals may not 
be able to creep in, but at the same time so constructed 
that the interior may be well lighted, so that the 
poultry-keeper, who ought from time to time to keep 
an eye upon the hens when they are sitting and hatch- 
ing their young, may more conveniently visit them. 
For in the hen-houses themselves too the walls should 4 



ut excisa per ordinem gallinarum cubilia recipiant : 
in quibus aut ova edantur, aut excludantur pulli : hoc 
enim et salubrius et elegantius est, quam illud, quod 
quidam faciunt, ut, palis in parietes vehementer actis 

5 vimineos qualos superimponant.^ Sive autem parie- 
tibus ita, ut diximus, cavatis, sive qualis ^ vimineis ^ 
praeponenda erunt vestibula, per quae * matrices 
ad cubilia vel pariendi vel incubandi causa per- 
veniant. Neque enim debent ipsis nidis involare,^ 

6 ne dum adsiliunt, pedibus ova confringant. Ascensus 
deinde avibus ad tabulata per utramque cellam datur 
iunctis parieti modicis asserculis, qui paulum formatis 
gradibus asperantur, ne sint advolantibus lubrici. 
Sed ab cohorte forinsecus praedictis ^ fenestellis 
scandulae similiter iniungantur, quibus irrepant aves 
ad requiem nocturnam. Maxime autem curabimus 
ut et haec aviaria et cetera, de quibus mox dicturi 
sumus, intrinsecus et extrinsecus ' poliantur opera 
tectorio, ne ® ad ^ aves feles habeant aut coluber 
accessum, et aeque noxiae prohibeantur pestes. 

7 Tabulatis insistere dormientem avem non expedit, 
ne suo laedatur stercore ; quod cum pedibus uncis 
adhaesit, podagram creat. Ea pernicies ut evitetur, 
perticae dolantur in quadrum, ne teres levitas earum 
supersilientem volucrem non recipiat. Conquadratae 

^ superponant a : -ent SA : -at c. 
2 qualis c : qualem SA : qualos a. 

* vimineis c : -os SAa. 

* que SAac. 

* inbolare 8 A. 

* praedictis SAac. 

' et extrinsecus ac : om. SA. 

* ne a : neque SAc. 

* ad om. A. 



be built so thick as to allow nesting-places for the hens 
to be cut out of them in a row, where either the eggs 
may be laid or the chickens hatched ; for this is both 
healthier and neater than what some people do when 
they forcibly drive pegs into the walls and support 
wicker-work baskets on them. But in front of either 5 
the walls which have been hollowed, as we have 
described, or of the wicker-work basket, porches must 
be placed through which the breeding-hens may reach 
their nests for the purpose of either laying eggs or 
sitting on them ; for they ought not to fly into the 
nests themselves, lest, as they leap into them, they 
break the eggs with their feet. Next a means of 6 
ascent for the hens to the lofts across each of the 
cells is provided by attaching to the wall moderately 
sized planks which are roughened a little by having 
steps made on them, so that the hens may not find 
them shppery when they fly on to them. Similarly 
httle ladders should be attached on the outside lead- 
ing from the poultry-yard to the little windows 
mentioned above, by which the birds may creep in 
for their nightly repose. But we shall take particular 
care that these poultry-houses and those about which 
we shall be speaking presently, are made smooth, 
within and without, with plaster-work, so that no cat 
or snake may have access to the fowls and that 
equally hurtful pests may be kept away. 

It is not expedient that the hen should rest on a 7 
loft's floor when it is asleep, lest it be harmed by 
its OAvn dung, because this, if it has adhered to its 
crooked feet, causes gout. That this calamity may be 
avoided, perches should be hewn square lest their 
rounded smoothness should fail to give the bird a 
good hold when it springs up. After being squared 



deinde foratis duobus adversis parietibus induuntur,^ 
ita ut a tabulate pedalis altitudinis, et inter se 
bipedalis latitudinis spatio distent. 

8 Haec erit cohortalis officinae dispositio. Ceterum 
cohors ipsa, per quam vagantur, non tarn stercore, 
quam uligine careat. Nam plurimum refert aquam 
non esse in ea nisi uno loco, quam bibant, eamque 
mundissimam : nam stercorosa pituitam concitat. 
Puram tamen servare non possis, nisi clausam vasis ^ 
in hunc usum fabricatis. Sunt autem, qui aut aqua 
replentur aut cibo plumbei canales, quos magis utiles 

9 esse ligneis aut fictilibus ^ compertum est. Hi super- 
positis operculis clauduntur, et a lateribus super 
mediam partem altitudinis per spatia palmaria 
modicis forantur cavis, ita ut avium capita possint 
admittere. Nam nisi operculis muniantur, quan- 
tulumcunque aquae * vel ciborum inest, pedibus 
everritur. Sunt qui a superiore parte foramina ipsis 
operculis imponant ; quod fieri non oportet. Nam ^ 
supersiliens avis proluvie ventris cibos et aquam 

IV. Cibaria gallinis praebentur optima pinsitum 
hordeum et vinacea ^ nee minus cicercula, tum etiam 
milium, aut panicum : sed haec ubi vilitas annonae 
permittit. Ubi vero ea est carior, excreta tritici 
minuta commode dantur. Nam per se id frumen- 
tum, etiam quibus locis vilissimum est, non utiliter 
praebetur, quia obest avibus. Potest etiam lolium 

^ induuntur a : induunt SAc. 

* vasi a : vasis c : basis SA. 

* ligneis et (aut A) fictilibus S : ligneos aut fictiles ac. 

* aqtiae om. A. 

' quam SA : nam a : tam c. • vinacia SA : vicia ac. 

' I.e. chaff. 

BOOK VIII. III. 7-iv. I 

the poles should be fixed in holes in two walls which 
face one another, so that they may be a foot in 
height above the loft floor and two feet in breadth 
away from one another. 

Such will be the arrangement of the hen-house in 8 
thepoultry-yard. But the poultry-yard itself, through 
which the hens wander, should be free not so much 
from dung as from moisture ; for it is extremely 
important that there should be no water in it except 
in one place, namely, the water for them to drink and 
that water should be very clean (for water which has 
dung in it gives fowls the pip), yet you cannot keep 
it clean unless it is enclosed in vessels made for the 
purpose. But there are leaden troughs which are 
filled with either water or food, and it has been found 
that they are more useful than troughs of wood or 
pottery. These are closed by having lids placed over 9 
them and are pierced with small holes above the 
middle of their height a palm's breadth apart from one 
another and large enough to admit the birds' heads. 
For if they are not provided with covers, any small 
quantities of water or food that is inside is swept out 
by the birds' feet. Some people make holes above 
in the top part of the covers themselves ; this should 
not be done, for the bird leaping on the top befouls 
the food and water with its excrement. 

IV. The best foods to be given to hens are bruised How to feec 
barley and grape-husks, likewise chick-pea and also *^^^' 
millet and panic-grass, but these last two only when 
the low price of cereals permits. When cereals are 
dearer, small refuse " from wheat is a convenient food 
to give ; for this grain by itself, even in places where 
it is very cheap, is not a suitable food because it is 
injurious to fowls. Boiled darnel can also be put 



decoctum obici, nee minus furfures modice a farina 
excreti : qui si nihil habent farris, non sunt idonei, 

2 nee tantum appetuntur ieiunis. Cytisi folia senuna- 
que maxime probantur, et sunt huic generi gratis- 
sima : neque est uUa regio, in qua non possit ^ huius 
arbusculae copia esse vel maxima. Vinacea quamvis 
tolerabiliter pascant, dari non debent, nisi quibus 
anni temporibus avis fetum non edit : nam et partus 

3 raros, et ova faciunt exigua. Sed cum plane post 
autumnum cessant a fetu, possunt ^ hoc cibo 
sustineri. Attamen quaecunque dabitur esca per 
cohortem vagantibus, die incipiente, et iam in 
vesperum declinato,^ bis dividenda est, ut et mane 
non protinus a cubili latius evagentur, et ante crepus- 
culum propter cibi spem temporius ad officinam re- 
deant, possitque * numerus capitum saepius recog- 
nosci. Nam volatile pecus facile custodiam pastoris 

4 Siccus etiam pulvis et cinis, ubicunque cohortem 
porticus vel tectum protegit, iuxta parietes re- 
ponendus est, ut sit quo aves se perfundant. Nam 
his rebus plumam pinnasque emundant : si modo 
credimus Ephesio Heraclito, qui ait sues caeno, 

5 cohortales aves pulvere vel cinere ^ lavari. Gallina 
post pi-imam emitti, et ante horam diei undecimam 
claudi debet : cuius vagae cultus hie, quem diximus, 

^ possit ac : possint jS^. 

^ possunt edd : potest SAac. 

^ declinato SAac : doclinante edd. 

* possitque ac : possintque SA. 

^ cinere om. 8 A. 

" The well-known Ionian philosopher of the late 6th 
century B.C. 


before them and likewise bran if only partly separ- 
ated from the meal; for if there is no meal with 
the food, it is not suitable nor have they much 
appetite for it, though they be hungry. The leaves 2 
and seeds of the shrub-trefoil are very highly 
approved and are greatly appreciated by fowls, and 
there is no region in which it is not possible to 
find a very great abundance of this shrub. Grape- 
husks, although they tolerate them as food, should 
not be given to fowls except at times of year 
when they are not laying ; for they cause them to 
lay seldom and only small eggs. But when they 
obviously stop laying after the autumn, they can be 
kept on this food. Whatever food is to be given 3 
them when they are loose in the poultry-yard should 
be distributed in two parts, one when day is beginning 
and the other when it has already declined towards 
evening, so that in the morning they may not imme- 
diately wander too far away from their sleeping- 
quarters and that they may return before dusk to the 
poultry-house in better time in hopes of finding food 
there, and that the number of head may be vei-ified 
more often. For winged creatures easily delude the 
watchfulness of the man who looks after them. 

Dry dust and ashes should be placed near the party 4 
walls wherever a porch or a roof shelters the poultry- 
yard, so that the birds may have the means to sprinkle 
themselves ; for it is with these that they clean their 
feathers and wings, if we believe Heraclitus " the 
Ephesian who says that pigs wash themselves with 
mud, farm-yard fowls with dust or ashes. A hen 5 
ought to be let out after the first hour of the day and 
be shut up again before the eleventh hour. Its 
manner of life when it is let loose will be as we have 



erit : nee tamen alius clausae, nisi quod ea non 
emittitur sed intra ornithonem ter die pascitur maiore 
mensura. Nam singulis eapitibiis quaterni cyathi 
diurna cibaria sunt, cum vagis ^ bini praebeantur. 

6 Habeat tamen etiam clausa oportet amplum vesti- 
bulum, quo prodeat, et ubi apricetur : idque sit 
retibus munitum, ne ^ aquila vel accipiter involet. 
Quas impensas et curas, nisi locis,^ quibus harum 
rerum vigent pretia, non expedit adhiberi. Anti- 
quissima est autem cum in omnibus pecoribus tum 
in hoc fides pastoris ; qui nisi * earn domino servat, 
nullus ornithonis quaestus vincet ^ impensas. De 
tutela satis dictum est: nunc reliquum ordinem 

V. Confecta bruma parere * fere id genus avium 
consuevit. Atque earum quae sunt fecundissimae, 
locis tepidioribus circa calendas lanuarias ova edere 
incipiunt ; frigidis autem regionibus eodem mense 

2 post idus. Sed cibis idoneis fecunditas earum 
elicienda est, quo maturius partum edant. Optime 
praebetur ad satietatem hordeum semicoctum : nam 
et maius facit ovorum incrementum, et frequentiores 
partus. Sed is "^ cibus quasi condiendus est inter- 
iectis cytisi foliis ac semine eiusdem, quae ^ maxime 
putantur augere fecunditatem avium. Modus 
autem cibariorum sit, ut dixi, vagis binorum cya- 
thorum hordei. Aliquid tamen admiscendum erit 

^ post vagis add. temi vel c, 

* ne om. A, 

' post locis add. et SAa. 

* qui nisi Aac : quin si S. 

^ vincet c : vigit A : vinglt a : vincit S. 

* parare c : 07n. SAa. 
' sed is ac : et his SA . 

* post quae add. utraque ac. 

BOOK VIII. IV. 5-v. 2 

described, and it will be no different when it is shut 
up except that it is not allowed to go out but is kept 
within the hen-house and fed three times a day with 
a larger quantity of food ; for the daily ration is four 
cyathi per head, whereas that of the wandering bird 
is only two cyathi. A bird which is shut up, how- 6 
ever, should have a spacious portico to which it can 
go out and bask in the sun; and this should be 
protected with nets, so that no eagle or hawk can 
fly in. It is only worth while to go to these expenses 
and to take these precautions in places where the 
prices of hens and their produce are high. But in 
the keeping of fowls, as of all domestic animals, the 
most important thing is that the man who looks after 
them should be trustworthy, for, unless he is faithful 
to his master, the profit from the poultry-house will 
not surpass the cost. Enough has now been said 
about the management of hens ; we will now pursue 
the other topics in order. 

V. When midwinter is over, this kind of bird is of the 
generally wont to lay. In warmer places the most and setting 
prolific hens begin laying eggs about the first ofo^^ggs 
January, but in colder regions after the 13th of the hen. 
same month. But their productivity must be en- 2 
couraged by suitable food to make them lay earlier. 
The best food to give them is their fill of half-cooked 
barley ; for it both increases the size of the eggs and 
makes them lay more often. But this food must be 
seasoned, as it were, by throwing into it the leaves 
and seed of shrub-trefoil, which are thought greatly 
to increase the productivity of birds. The quantity 
of food, as I have said, should be two cyathi of barley 
per hen if they are allowed to wander freely, but 
some shrub-trefoil should be mixed with it, or, if this 



3 cytisi, vel si id non fuerit, viciae aut milii. Curae 
autem debebit esse custodi, cum parturient aves, ut 
habeant quam mundissimis paleis constrata cubilia, 
eaque ^ subinde converrat, et alia stramenta quam 
recentissima reponat.^ Nam pulicibus, atque aliis 
similibus ^ replentur, quae * secum afFert avis, cum 
ad idem cubile revertitur. Assiduus autem debet 
esse eustos et speculari parientes,^ quod se facere 
gallinae testantur crebris singultibus interiecta voce 

4 acuta. Observare itaque dum edant ova, et * con- 
festim circumire oportebit cubilia, ut quae nata sunt 
recolligantur, notenturque quae quoque die sint 
edita, et quam recentissima supponantur glucienti- 
bus : sic enim appellant rustici aves eas quae volunt 
incubare ; cetera vel reponantur, vel aere mutentur. 
Aptissima porro sunt ad excludendum recentissima 
quaeque. Possunt tamen etiam requieta supponi, 

6 dum ne vetustiora sint quam dierum decem. Fere 
autem cum primum partum consummaverunt gallinae, 
incubare cupiunt ab idibus lanuariis, quod facere non 
omnibus permittendum est ; quoniam quidem no- 
vellae magis edendis, quam cxcludendis ovis utiliores 
sunt : inhibeturque cupiditas incubandi ' pinnula per 

6 nares traiecta.^ Veteranas igitur aves ad banc rem 
eligi oportebit, quae iam saepius id fecerint ; mores- 
que earum maxime pernosci, quoniam aliae melius 

1 eaque ac : que S : quae A. 
^ reponat ac : reponant SA. 
' post similibus add. animalibus ac. 

* quae om. SA. 

* speculari parientes ac : specularientes SA. 

* observare itaque dum edant ova et ac : observare dum 
edant ova itaque dum et S : observare idum edant ova 
itaque dum et A. 

" incubandi ac : incubando 8A. 


BOOK \lir. V. 2-6 

is not available, vetch or millet. The keeper will 3 
have to take care that the hens, when they are breed- 
ing, have their nests strewn with the cleanest possible 
straw, and he must sweep them out from time to time 
and put in other litter which is as fresh as possible. 
For the nests become full of fleas and other similar 
creatures which the hen brings with it when it returns 
to the same nest. The keeper ought also to be con- 
tinually on the look-out for hens which are laying, a 
fact to which they bear witness by frequent cackling 
interrupted by shrill cries. He will have to watch until 4 
they produce eggs and then immediately go round 
the nests so that the eggs which have been laid may 
be collected and a record taken to show the number 
which have been laid each day and that the freshest 
possible eggs may be put under the clucking hens, 
for this is what country-folk call those birds which 
wish to sit. The rest should either be stored or else 
turned into money. Furthermore, the freshest eggs 
are most suitable for hatching ; those, however, 
which have been kept for some time can also be set, 
provided that they are not more than ten days old. 
Hens which have completed their first clutch of 5 
eggs generally want to sit from January the 13th 
onwards ; but they must not all be allowed to do 
so, since young pullets are more useful for laying 
eggs than for hatching them, and their desire to sit is 
checked by passing a small feather through their 
nostrils. Veteran fowls, therefore, will have to be 6 
chosen for the task of sitting, which have already 
done so frequently, and their disposition must be fully 
known since some hens are better at hatching the 

per nares traiecta ac : per nasi et a S : per nasia et a ^. 



excludunt, aliae editos pullos commodius educant.^ 
At e contrario quaedam et sua et aliena ova com- 
minuunt atque consumunt, quod facientem protinus 
submovere conveniet.^ 

7 Pulli autem duarum aut trium avium exclusi,^ dum 
adhuc teneri sunt, ad unam, quae sit melior nutrix, 
transferri debent, sed primo quoque die, dum mater 
suos et alienos propter similitudinem dignoscere non 
potest. Verumtamen servare oportet modum. Ne- 
que enim debet maior esse quam triginta capitum. 
Negant * enim hoc ampliorem gregem posse ab una 

8 nutriri. Numerus ovorum, quae subiciuntur, impar 
observatur,^ nee semper idem. Nam primo tempore, 
id est mense lanuario, quindecim, nee unquam plura 
subici debent : Martio, xix,^ nee his pauciora : unum 
et viginti Aprili : ' tota deinde aestate usque in 
calendas Octobris totidem.^ Postea supervacua est 
huius rei cura, quod frigoribus exclusi pulli plerum- 

9 que intereunt. Plerique tamen etiam ab aestivo 
solstitio non putant bonam pullationem, quod ab eo 
tempore etiam si facilem educationem habent, iustum 
tamen non capiunt incrementum. Verum suburbanis 

^ educant a : educent SAc. 

^ convenient S : conveniet a : conveniunt A : convenit c. 

' exclusi edd. : excusi SA : excussi ac. 

* negant Aa : necant S : negat c. 

* impar observatur om. S. 

* Martis xix edd. : Maio vni (aut novem) SAac. 

' unum et viginti Aprili edd. : undecim Aprili SAa : unde 
cum Aprili c. 

* totidem edd. : tredecim (aut xiii) SAac. 


BOOK VIII. V. 6-9 

chickens and others are more suitable for bringing 
them up when they have been hatched. Some hens, 
on the other hand, break and consume both their own 
and other hens' eggs ; any hen which does this will 
have to be got rid of immediately. 

The chickens of two or three hens, when they have 7 
been hatched and are still very young, should be 
transferred to one mother, whichever is the best nurse ; 
but this must always be done the very first day while 
the mother, owing to their similarity, is unable to 
distinguish her own young and those of other hens. A 
limit, however, must be observed, which ought not to 
be more than thirty head ; for it is said that a larger 
flock than this cannot be cared for by a single hen. 8 
The rule is observed of putting an uneven number of 
eggs under a hen, but it is not always the same 
number. At the first setting, that is, in the month of 
January, fifteen eggs, and never more, ought to be 
set, in March nineteen and never less : in April, 
twenty-one, and the same number throughout the 
summer until October Ist.** After this date any 
attention given to the matter of hatching is use- 
less, because, owing to the cold, the chickens 
generally die as soon as they are hatched. Most 9 
people, however, do not think that it is good to hatch 
chickens after the summer solstice, because from that 
time onwards, even though it is easy to rear them, 
they never come to their proper growth ; but in the 

" It is clear that the numbers of eggs which should be put 
under hens at various times of year are wrong in the MSS, 
according to which fifteen should be set in January, nine in 
May, eleven in April and thirteen in the summer. This is 
quite illogical, since obviously more eggs can be given to a hen 
to sit upon in warm than in cold weather. The readings 
generally adopted by the editors give the required sense. 



locis, ubi a matre pulli non exiguis pretiis veneunt, 
probanda est aestiva educatio. 

Semper autem, cum supponuntur ova, considerari 
debet, ut luna crescente a decima usque ad quintam- 
decimam id fiat. Nam et ipsa suppositio per hos fere 
dies est commodissima ; et sic administrandum est, 
ut rursus cum excluduntur pulli, luna crescat. 

10 Diebus quibus animantur ova, et in speciem volu- 
crum conformantur, ter septenis opus est gallinaceo 
generi. At pavonino ^ et anserino, paulo amplius 
ter novenis. Quae si quando fueririt supponenda 
gallinis, prius eas incubare decem diebus fetibus 
alienigenis patiemur. Tum demum sui generis 
quattuor ova, nee plura quam quinque fovenda I'e- 
cipient. Sed et haec quam maxima : nam ex pusillis 

11 aves minimae ^ nascuntur. Cum deinde quis volet 
quam plurimos mares excludi, longissima quaeque et 
acutissima ova subiciet : et rursus cum feminas, 
quam rotundissima. Supponendi autem consuetude 
tradita est ab iis, qui religiosius haec administrant, 
eiusmodi. Primum quam secretissima cubilia legunt,^ 
ne incubantes matrices ab aliis avibus inquietentur : 
deinde antequam consternant ea, diligenter emun- 
dant, paleasque, quas substraturi sunt, sulfure et 
bitumine atque ardente teda perlustrant, et expiatas 

* pavonino ac : pavone SA. 

* minimae scripsi : minima SA : minutae ac. 
' legunt SA : eligunt ac. 


BOOK VIII. V. 9-11 

neighbourhood of towns, where chickens are sold at a 
high price straight from their mother's care, summer 
rearing is to be approved. 

When eggs are being put under a hen, care should 
always be taken that this is done when the moon is 
increasing, namely, from the tenth to the fifteenth 
day of the month ; for the actual placing of the eggs 
is most convenient somewhere about this time, and it 
is necessary to arrange that the moon is increasing 
again when the chickens are hatched. It takes 10 
twenty-one days for the eggs to become quickened 
and take on the form of birds in the case of farm-yard 
poultry, but for peacocks and geese rather more than 
twenty-seven days are required. If ever it should 
be necessary to put the eggs of the two latter species 
under ordinary hens, we shall allow them to sit first 
for ten days on the eggs of these alien birds, and then 
they will be given four eggs of their own kind to sit 
upon, and never more than five. These must be as 
large as possible ; for from undersized eggs only very 
small birds are produced. Next, when anyone wishes 11 
as many male chickens as possible to be hatched, he 
will set the longest and most pointed eggs ; if, on the 
other hand, he wants female chickens, he should set 
the roundest eggs. The following is the usual 
method of placing eggs as handed down by those 
who are most scrupulous in the way they manage 
such matters. First of all they choose the most retired 
nesting-boxes, so that the brooding hens may not be 
disturbed by other fowls ; then, before they strew 
anything in them, they cleanse them carefully and 
purify the chaff which they are going to put under 
the hens with sulphur and bitumen and a burning 
torch, and when they have thus purged it they throw 



cubilibus iniciunt, ita factis concavatis nidis, ne 
advolantibus aut desilientibus evoluta decidant ova, 

12 Plurimi etiam infra cubilium stramenta graminis 
aliquid et ramulos lauri, nee minus alii eapita cum 
elavis ferreis subieiunt : quae cuncta remedio credun- 
tur esse adversus tonitrua, quibus vitiantur ova, 
puUique semiformes interimuntur antequam toti 

13 partibus suis consummentur. Servat autem qui 
subicit,^ ne singula ova ^ in cubili manu compo- 
nat,^ sed totum ovorum numerum in alveolum 
ligneum conferat, deinde universum leniter in prae- 

14 paratum nidum transfundat. Incubantibus autem 
gallinis iuxta ponendus est cibus, ut saturae studio- 
sius nidis immorentur, neve longius evagatae re- 
frigerent ova, quae quamvis pedibus ipsae conver- 
tant,* aviarius tamen cum desilierint matres, circumire 
debet,^ ac manu versare, ut aequaliter calore concepto 
facile animentur, quin etiam si qua unguibus laesa 
vel fracta sunt, ut removeat. Idque cum fecerit 
duodeviginti diebus,^ die undevigesimo animadvertat 
an pulli rostellis ova pertuderint, et auscultetur, si 
pipiant. Nam saepe propter crassitudinem puta- 

15 minum '' erumpere non queunt. Itaque haerentes 
pullos manu eximere oportebit, et matri fovendos 
subicere, idque non amplius triduo facere. Nam post 
unum et vigesimum diem silentia ova carent animali- 

^ subicit acA^ : qui subl A' : quis iibi S. 

* ova om. SAac. 

' componat ac : componant SA, 

* quamvis pedibus ipse convertant ac : quam ipso convert 
iS : quam ipsa confer© A. 

' debent SAac. 

* duodeviginti diebua om. ac. 

' putaminum ac : putaminarum SA. 

BOOK VIII. V. 11-15 

it into the nest-boxes, making the nest hollow so that 
the eggs may not roll out and fall when the hens fly 
in or leap down. Very many people also lay a little 12 
grass under the litter in the nest-boxes and small 
branches of bay and also fasten underneath heads of 
garlic with iron nails, all of which things are regarded 
as preservatives against thunder by which the eggs 
are spoilt and the half-formed chickens killed before 
they can reach complete perfection in all their parts. 
The man who places the eggs is careful not to place 13 
them one by one in the nest-box by hand, but should 
collect the complete number in a wooden basin and 
gently pour the whole clutch into the nest ready 
prepared. Food must be placed near the hens when 14 
they are sitting, so that, being well satisfied, they 
may be more eager to remain on their nests and may 
not wander too far away and let the eggs grow cold. 
Though the hens themselves turn the eggs with their 
feet, the keeper of the poultry, when the hens have 
leaped down, should go round and turn the eggs by 
hand, so that they may easily be quickened, receiving 
heat equally all over, and also that he may remove 
any eggs which have been damaged or broken by the 
hen's claws. After doing this for eighteen days, on 
the nineteenth he should look and see whether the 
chickens have broken through the eggs with their 
little beaks and listen whether they are peeping; 
for often, because of the thickness of the shells, they 
cannot break their way out. He will, therefore, 15 
have to remove with his hand the chickens which are 
stuck in the shell and put them under their mother 
to be kept warm, and he should do this for not more 
than three days, for after the twenty-first day the 
eggs which are silent have no living creature in them 



bus : eaque removenda sunt, ne incubans inani spe 
diutius detineatur ^ efFeta. Pullos autem non 
oportet singulos, ut quisque natus sit, tollere, sed uno 
die in cubili sinere cum matre, et aqua ciboque 

16 abstinere, dum omnes excludantur. Postero die, 
cum grex fuerit effectus, hoc modo deponatur.^ 
Cribro viciario, vel etiam. loliario, qui iam fuerit in 
usu, pulli superponantur, deinde puleii ^ surculis 
fumigentur. Ea res videtur prohibere pituitam, 

17 quae celerrime teneros interficit. Post haec cavea 
cum matre claudendi sunt, et farre hordeaceo cum 
aqua incocto, vel adoreo farre vino resperso modice 
alendi. Nam maxime cruditas vitanda est : et ob 
hoc iam tertia die cavea cum matre continendi sunt, 
priusque quam emittantur ad recentem cibum, singuli 
tentandi, ne quid hesterni habeant in gutture. Nam 
nisi vacua est ingluvies, cruditatem significat, 

18 abstinerique debent, dum concoquant. Longius 
autem non est permittendum teneris evagari, sed 
circa caveam continendi sunt, et farina hordeacea 
pascendi dum corroborentur : cavendumque ne a 
serpentibus adflentur, quarum odor tarn pestilens 
est, ut interimat universos. Id vitatur saepius in- 
censo cornu cervino, vel galbano, vel muliebri capillo : 
quorum omnium fere nidoribus praedicta pestis 

^ retineatur SAc : detineatur a. 
* deponatur SAa : deponitur c edd, 
' pulei codd. : pulegii edd. 

" Mentha pulegiiim. 
* See note on p. 260. 


BOOK VIII. V. 15-18 

and must be removed, so that the hen may not be kept 
sitting any longer after the hatching is over, deluded 
by vain hope. Chickens should not be removed one 
by one as they are hatched but should be allowed to 
remain in the nest for one day with their mother and 
should be kept without water or food until they are 
all hatched. On the next day, when the brood is 16 
complete, it should be brought down from the nest 
in the following manner. The chickens should be 
placed in a sieve made of vetch or darnel, which 
has already been in use, and they should then be 
fumigated with sprigs of pennyroyal " ; this seems 
to prevent the pip, which very quickly kills them 
when they are young. After this they must be 17 
shut up in a coop with their mother and given a 
moderately large feeding of boiled barley-flour with 
v/ater or flour of two-grained wheat sprinkled with 
wine. For above all things indigestion must be 
avoided, and so on the third day they should be 
kept in the coop with their mother and before they 
are let out for fresh food, they should each be ex- 
amined separately to see if they still have any of the 
previous day's food in their gorge ; for if the crop is 
not empty, this is a sign of indigestion and they 
ought to be kept away from food until digestion has 
taken place. While they are very young, chickens 18 
should not be allowed to wander too far but should 
be kept in the neighbourhood of the coop and fed on 
barley-meal until they are strong, and care must be 
taken that they are not breathed upon by snakes, 
whose odour is so pestilential that it kills them all off. 
This is prevented by frequently burning hart's-horn 
or galbanum ^ or women's hair ; by the fumes from 
all these things the aforesaid pest is generally kept 



19 submovetur. Sed et curandum erit, ut tepide ha- 
beantur. Nam nee calorem nee frigus sustinent. 
Optimumque est intra officinam clauses haberi cum 
matre, et post quadragesimum diem potestatem 
vagandi fieri. Sed primis quasi infantiae diebus 
pertractandi sunt, plumulaeque sub cauda clunibus ^ 
detrahendae, ne stercore coinquinatae durescant et 

20 naturalia praecludant. Quod quamvis caveatur, 
saepe tamen evenit, ut alvus exitum non habeat. 
Itaque pinna pertunditur, et iter digestis cibis 

Saepe etiam iam ^ validioribus factis, atque ipsis 
matribus etiam vitanda pituitae ^ pernicies erit. 
Quae ne fiat, mundissimis vasis et quam purissimam 
praebebimus aquam : nee minus gallinaria semper 
fumigabimus, et emundata stercore liberabimus. 

21 Quod si tamen pestis permanserit, sunt qui micas * 
alii tepido madefaciunt oleo et ^ faucibus inserant. 
Quidam hominis urina tepida rigant ora, et tamdiu 
comprimunt, dum eas amaritudo cogat per nares 
emoliri pituitae nauseam.^ Uva ' quoque, quam 
Graeci aypiav aracfivXriv vocant, cum cibo mixta pro- 
dest ; 8 vel eadem pertrita, et cum aqua potui data. 

22 Atque haec remedia mediocriter laborantibus adhi- 
bentur. Nam si pituita circumvenit oculos, et iam 
cibos avis respuit, ferro rescinduntur genae, et coacta 
sub oculis sanies omnis exprimitur : atque ita paulum 

^ clunibus a : crunibus SA. 

^ saepo etiam iam SA : saepe iam etiam a : sed etiam iam c. 

' pituitae om. SA. 

* micas SA : spicas ac. 

* madefaciant oleo et SA : madefactas oleo ac. 

* nauseam edd. : nausa SA : nausea ac. 
' uva edd. : aqua SA : una ac. 

* prodest ac : prodent SA . 

BOOK VIII. V. 18-22 

away. Care will also have to be taken that they are 19 
kept moderately warm ; for they do not bear extreme 
heat or cold. It is best that they should be kept shut 
up in the hen-house with their mother and be given 
full liberty to wander abroad only after forty days. 
But in the first days of what may be called their in- 
fancy they should be held in the hands and the little 
feathers under their tails should be plucked from their 
buttocks, lest they become befouled with dung and 
grow hard and so block the natural passages. It often 20 
happens, however, in spite of the precautions taken, 
that the bowels have no exit ; a perforation is, there- 
fore, made and a passage thus opened for the digested 

Often too when the chickens have already grown 
stronger they will have to avoid the fatal disease of 
the pip, as also will their mothers. To prevent it, 
we shall give them the purest possible water in the 
cleanest possible vessels, and we shall also frequently 
fumigate the hen-houses and keep them cleansed 
from dung. Some people, if the pestilence persists, 21 
moisten morsels of garlic with warm oil and insert 
them in their throats. Others wet their mouths 
with warm human urine and keep them closed until 
the bitter taste of the urine forces them to expel 
through their nostrils the nauseous matter produced 
by the pip. The berry also, which the Greeks call 
the " wild grape," is beneficial mixed with their food, 
or else pounded up and given them in water to drink. 
These remedies are given only to those who are suffer- 22 
ing just to a slight degree ; if the pip surrounds the 
eyes and the fowl now rejects its food, its cheeks are 
cut with a lancet and all the diseased matter collected 
under the eyes is pressed out, and then a little 




23 triti salis vulneribus infricatur.^ Id porro vitium 
maxime nascitur cum frigore et penuria cibi laborant 
aves : item cum per aestatem consistens in cohortibus 
aqua potatur : ^ item cum ficus aut uva immatura nee 
ad satietatem permissa est, quibus scilicet cibis 
abstinendae sunt aves : eosque ut fastidiant efficit 
uva labrusca de vepribus immatura lecta, quae cum 
farre triticeo ^ minuto cocta obicitur esurientibus, 
eiusque sapore ofFensae aves omnem aspernantur 
uvam. Similis ratio est etiam caprifici, quae dococta 
cum cibo praebetur avibus, et ita fici fastidium creat. 

24 Mos quoque, sicut in ceteris pecudibus, eligendi 
quamque optimam et deteriorem vendendi, servetur * 
etiam in hoc genere, ut ^ per autumni tempus omni- 
bus annis, cum fructus earum cessat, numerus quoque 
minuatur. Submovebimus autem veteres, id est, 
quae trimatum excesserunt : item quae ® aut parum 
fecundae, aut parum bonae "^ nutrices sunt, et prae- 
cipue quae ova vel sua vel aliena consumunt : nee 
minus, quae velut mares ^ cantare atque etiam 
calcare ^ coeperunt : item serotini pulli, qui 
ab solstitio nati capere iustum incrementum non 
potuerunt. In masculis autem non eadem ratio 
servabitur; sed tamdiu custodiemus generosos, 

25 quamdiu feminas implere potuerint. Nam rarior est 
in his avibus mariti bonitas. Eodem quoque tempore 

^ infricatur c : infricantur Aa : infriantur S. 

^ cohortibus aqua potatur ac : cohortibus fuit aqua SA. 

' ordeo triticeo ac : hordeo tritico A : hordeo trittico 8. 

* -post servetur add. ne SA. 

* ut om. SA. 

* itemque aut parum S. 
' parum bonae om. SA. 

' velut mares ac : vel mane SA . 


BOOK VIIL V. 22-25 

pounded salt is rubbed into the wounds. Further, 23 
this disease chiefly arises when the fowls are suffering 
from the cold and from poor feeding, and also when, 
during the summer, water standing in the poultry- 
yard is drunk, and, again, when they are allowed to 
eat figs and unripe grapes and not to take their fill 
of them, foods from which fowls should certainly be 
kept away. A method of making them loathe them 
is to pick the wild grapes from the bushes while they 
are still unripe and put them before them when they 
are hungry cooked with fine wheat-meal, for being 
disgusted by the taste the birds refuse every kind of 
grape. A similar method can be employed also with 
the wild-fig, which being cooked with their food and 
given to the birds, creates a distaste for figs also. A 24 
practice too, which is employed for all other live- 
stock, of choosing the better and selling the worse 
should be observed also in the case of poultry, in 
order that annually during the autumn, when they 
cease to be productive, their number may be 
diminished. We shall get rid of the old hens, that is, 
those which are more than three years old, also those 
which are not very prolific or are not very good nurses, 
and, above all, those which eat their own and other 
hens' eggs, likewise also those which are beginning 
to crow like cocks or even to strut about, and also 
late-born chickens, which have been hatched from the 
solstice onwards and could not reach their full growth. 
The same system will not be observed for the cock-birds, 
but we shall keep those which are well-bred as long as 
they can impregnate the hens ; for good quality in a 25 
mating male is rather rare among these birds. Also at 

* atque etiam calcare om. 8A : atque calcare a : aut etiam 
calcare c. 



cum parere desinent aves, id est, ab idibus Novem- 
bribus pretiosiores cibi subtrahend! sunt, et vinacea 
praebenda, quae satis commode pascunt, adiectis 
interdum tritici excrementis. 

VI. Ovorum quoque longioris temporis custodia 
non aliena est huic curae : quae commode servantur 
per hiemem, si paleis obruas, aestate, si furfuribus. 
Quidam prius trito sale sex horis adoperiunt : deinde 
eluunt, atque ita paleis aut furfuribus obruunt. 
Nonnulli solida, multi etiam fresa faba coaggerant : 
alii salibus integris adoperiunt : alii muria tepefacta 

2 durant. Sed omnis sal,^ quemadmodum non patitur 
putrescere, ita minuit ova, nee sinit plena permanere : 
quae res ementem deterret. Itaque ne in muriam 
quidem qui demittunt, integritatem ovorum con- 

VII. Pinguem quoque facere gallinam, quamvis 
fartoris, non rustici sit officium, tamen quia non aegre 
contingit, praecipiendum putavi. Locus ad banc 
rem desideratur maxime calidus, et minimi luminis, 
in quo singulae caveis angustioribus vel sportis in- 
clusae pendeant aves, sed ita coarctatae, ne versari 

2 possint. Varum habeant ex utraque parte foramina : 
unum, quo caput exseratur; alterum, quo cauda 
clunesque, ut et cibos capere possint et eos digestos 
sic edere, ne stercore coinquinentur. Substernatur 

^ omnis sal ac : omnea sails S : omnes es sails A^ : omne 
sal A*. 


BOOK VIII. V. 25-vii. 2 

the time when the hens cease to lay, that is, from the 
13th of November, the more expensive food must be 
withheld and grape-husks be supplied, which form 
quite a suitable diet, if refuse from wheat is added 
from time to time. 

VI. The keeping of eggs over a longer period is also Of eggs. 
germane to the subject which we are now considei*- 

ing. In winter they are conveniently preserved if 
you bury them in chaff, in summer if you put them 
in bran. Some people cover them first for six hours 
with pounded salt ; next they wash them and then 
bury them in chaff or bran. Some people cover them 
with a heap of whole beans, many with a heap of 
bruised beans ; others bury them in unpounded salt : 
others harden them in lukewarm brine. But salt in 2 
any form, although it does not allow the eggs to rot, 
shrinks them and prevents them from remaining 
full : and this is a deterrent to the purchaser. Thus 
even those who plunge the eggs in brine do not com- 
pletely preserve their original condition. 

VII. Although it is the business of the poulterer On fattening 
rather than of the farmer to fatten hens, yet, since it *"*' 

is not a difficult task, I thought that I ought to give 
directions on the subject. A spot is required for this 
purpose which is very warm and has very little light, 
where the birds may be hung, shut up each separately 
in rather narrow coops or plaited cages and confined 
in so close a space that they cannot turn round. 
They should, however, have holes on either side, one 2 
through which they can put out their head and the 
other through which they can put out their tail and 
hind-quarters, so that they may be able both to take 
their food and also get rid of it when it has been 
digested and so may not be befouled with dung. 



autem mundissima palea, vel molle fenum, id est, 
cordum. Nam si dure cubant, non facile pinguescunt. 
Pluma omnis e capite et sub alis atque clunibus de- 
tergetur : illic, ne pediculum creet ; hie, ne stercore 
loca naturalia exulceret. 

3 Cibus autem praebetur hordeacea farina, quae cum 
est ^ aqua conspersa et subacta, formantur ofFae, 
quibus aves saginantur.^ Eae ^ tamen primis diebus 
dari parcius debent, dum plus concoquere consues- 
cant. Nam cruditas vitanda * est maxime, tantum- 
que praebendum, quantum digerere possint : neque 
ante recens admovenda est, quam tentato gutture 

4 apparuerit nihil veteris escae remansisse. Cum 
deinde satiata est avis, paululum deposita cavea ^ 
dimittitur, sed ita ne vagetur, sed potius, si quid est 
quod eam stimulet aut mordeat, rostro persequatur. 
Haec fere communis est cura farcientium. Nam illi 
qui volunt ^ non solum opimas, sed etiam teneras aves 
efficere, mulsea recente ' aqua praedicti generis 
farinam conspergunt, et ita farciunt : nonnulli tribus 
aquae partibus unam boni vini miscent, madefactos- 
que triticeo pane obesant avem ; quae prima luna 
(quoniam id quoque custodiendum est) saginari 

5 coepta, vicesima pergliscit. Sed si fastidiet cibum, 
totidem diebus minuere oportebit, quot iam farturae 

1 est om. 8a. 

* saginantur edd. : salivatur codd. 
' haec(?) A : eae ac : ita S. 

* vitanda A^ac : cnidanda SA^. 

* deposita cavea ac : -ae -ae 8 A. 

* volunt ac : colunt 8 A. 

' mulsea recente ac : multa regenti 8 : multa recentia A. 


Very clean chaff should be spread under them or 
soft hay, that is, hay of the second crop ; for if their 
bed is hard they do not easily fatten. All the 
feathers should be cleared away from their heads 
and under their wings and hind-quarters, from 
the head and wings so that they may not breed lice, 
and from their hind-quarters so that sores may not 
be caused by dung in the private parts. 

Barley-meal is given as food, which, sprinkled with 3 
water and kneaded, is formed into pellets with which 
the birds are crammed. They should, however, be 
given somewhat sparingly for the first few days, until 
they become accustomed to digest more of this food ; 
for indigestion niust above all things be avoided and 
only as much given them as they can assimilate ; nor 
ought fresh food be put before them until it is 
apparent, from feeling the crop, that none of the old 
food has remained behind. Then, when the bird has 4 
had its fill, the coop is lowered a little and the bird is 
let out, not in order that it may wander at will but 
rather that it may pursue with its beak anything that 
stings or bites it. The latter is the common pre- 
caution taken by fatteners of birds : but those who 
wish to make the birds not only plump but also tender, 
sprinkle meal of the kind already mentioned with 
fresh honey-water and then cram them with it. 
Some people mix one part of good wine with three 
parts of water and fatten the bird with wheaten- 
bread soaked in it. If the process of cramming is 
begun at the new moon (for this date too should be 
observed), the fowl is quite fat by the twentieth day : 
but, if it takes a dislike to its food, you will have to 5 
lessen the amount for the same number of days as the 
cramming has already proceeded, but only provided 



processerint : ita tamen, ne tempus omne opimandi 
quintam et vicesimam lunam superveniat. Anti- 
quissimum est autem maximam quamque avem 
lautioribus epulis destinare. Sic enim digna merces 
sequitur operam et impensam. 

VIII. Hac eadem ratione palumbos columbosque 
cellares pinguissimos facere contingit : neque est 
tamen in columbis farciendis tantus reditus, quantus 
in educandis. Nam etiam horum possessio non 
abhorret a cura boni rustici. Sed id genus minore 
tutela pascitur longinquis regionibus, ubi liber egressus 
avibus permittitur : quoniam vel summis turribus, 
vel editissimis aedificiis assignatas sedes frequentant 
patentibus fenestris, per quas ad requirendos cibos 

2 evolitant. Duobus tamen aut tribus mensibus 
acceptant conditiva cibaria, ceteris se ipsas pascunt 
seminibus agrestibus. Sed hoc suburbanis locis 
facere non possunt, quoniam intercipiuntur variis 
aucupum insidiis. Itaque clausae intra tectum pasci 
debent, nee in piano villae loco, nee in frigido : sed 
in edito fieri tabulatum oportet, quod aspiciat 

3 hibernum meridiem. Eiusque parietes, ne iam dicta 
iteremus, ut in ornithone praecepimus, continuis 
cubilibus excaventur : vel si non ita competit, paxillis 
adactis tabulae superponantur, quae vel locula- 
menta,^ quibus nidificent aves, vel fictilia columbaria 
recipiant, praepositis vestibulis, per quae ad cubilia 

^ loculamenta c : locum lamenta SAa. 
• I.e. duo south. 

BOOK VIII. vii. 5-viii. 3 

that the whole period of fattening does not go beyond 
the twenty-fifth day of the lunai- period. It is very im- 
portant that all the biggest fowls should be reserved 
for the more sumptuous feasts ; for thus a worthy 
recompense attends one's trouble and expense. 

VIII. The same method is successfully employed to Pigeona. 
make wood-pigeons and house-pigeons that live in 
dovecots very plump ; there is, however, not so much 
profit in cramming pigeons as in just rearing them ; for 
mere possession of them is not unworthy of the atten- 
tion of a good farmer. The feeding of this kind of 
bird too requires less supervision in distant parts of 
the country where they can be allowed free egress, 
for they frequent the haunts assigned to them on the 
tops of towers or on very lofty buildings with ever- 
open windows through which they fly forth to seek 
their food. Nevertheless for two or three months 2 
in the year they welcome food from the store-house, 
while during the other months they feed themselves 
on seeds picked up in the fields. But in regions near 
a city they cannot do this because they are caught 
by the various snares of the bird-catchers. They 
ought, then, to be shut up and fed under cover ; and 
on the farm they should not be kept in a part of the 
farm-house which is level with the ground or cold, 
but a loft should be constructed for them in an elevated 
position to face the midday sun in winter ; " and, that 3 
we may not repeat the instructions already given, the 
walls, as we described in speaking of the hen-house, 
should be hollowed to form a row of sleeping-places : 
or, if this is not convenient, pegs should be driven 
into the walls and boards placed upon them to hold 
lockers, in which the hens may nest, or earthenware 
dovecots with porches in front of them through which 



perveniant. Totus autem locus et ipsae colum- 
barum celiac poliri debent albo tectorio, quoniam eo 

4 colore praecipue delectatur hoc genus avium. Nee 
minus extrinsecus levigari parietes,^ maxime circa 
fenestram : et ea sit ita posita, ut maiore parte hi- 
berni diei solem ^ admittat, habeatque appositam 
satis amplam caveam retibus emunitam, quae ex- 
cludat accipitres, et recipiat egredientes ad aprica- 
tionem columbas, nee minus in agros emittat matrices, 
quae ovis vel pullis incubant, ne quasi gravi perpetuae 

6 custodiae servitio contristatae senescant. Nam cum 
paulum circa aedificia volitaverint, exhilaratae re- 
creantur, et ad fetus suos vegetiores redeunt, 
propter quos ne longius quidem evagari aut fugere 

Vasa, quibus aqua praebetur, similia esse debent 
gallinariis, quae colla bibentium admittant, et 
cupientes lavari propter angustias non recipiant. 
Nam id facere eas nee ovis nee pullis, quibus plerum- 

6 que incubant, expedit. Ceterum cibos iuxta parie- 
tem conveniet spargi, quoniam fere partes ^ eae 
columbarii carent stercore. Commodissima cibaria 
putantur vicia, vel ervum, tum etiam lenticula, 
miliumque et lolium, nee minus excreta tritici, et si 
qua sunt alia legumina, quibus etiam gallinae aluntur. 
Locus autem subinde converri et emundari debet. 
Nam quanto est cultior, tanto laetior avis conspici- 

^ parietes Ac : paries S : parientes a. 
2 solem a : solis SA : om. c. 

* quiartesaeae S : qui artesae A : quoniam fere partes a : 
quam fere parietes c. 


BOOK VIII. viii. 3-6 

they may reach their sleeping-quarters. The whole 
place and the pigeon-cells themselves ought to be 
finished off with white plaster, since birds of this kind 
take a special pleasure in that colour ; also the walls 4 
ought to be made smooth outside, particularly round 
the window, which should be so placed as to admit 
the sun for the greater part of a winter's day and 
should have adjoining it a fairly large pen, protected 
by nets to keep out hawks, which may accommodate 
the doves when they come out to bask in the sun ; 
through this also the mother-birds, which are sitting 
on their eggs or their squabs, can be let out into the 
fields, so that they may not become prematurely aged 
through the depression caused by the grievous 
servitude of perpetual imprisonment ; for when they 5 
have fluttered about a little round the farm-buildings, 
they are exhilarated and refreshed and return in- 
vigorated to their young, for whose sake they make 
no attempt to wander far afield or escape by flight. 

The vessels in which water is provided should be 
like those used for fowls, so constructed as to admit 
the necks of those which drink from them and too 
narrow to allow the entrance of those which wish to 
wash in them ; for to do so is not good either for the 
eggs or the young, sitting on which they spend 
most of their time. It will be found a good plan that 6 
their food should be scattered near the wall, since 
generally those parts of the dove-house are free from 
dung. Vetch or bitter-vetch and next in order lentils 
and millet and darnel are considered to be the most suit- 
able foods, likewise the refuse from wheat, also any 
other kinds of pulse on which hens too are fed. The 
place ought to be swept and cleaned out from time to 
time; for the better it is looked after, the more 


tur, eaque tarn fastidiosa est, ut saepe sedes suas 
perosa, si detur avolandi potestas, relinquat.^ Quod 
frequenter in his regionibus, ubi liberos habent 

7 egressus, accidere solet. Id ne fiat, vetus est 
Democriti praeceptum. Genus accipitris tinnun- 
culum 2 vocant rustici, qui ^ fere in aedificiis nidos 
facit. Eius pulli singuli fictilibus ollis conduntur, 
spirantibusque opercula superponuntur, et gypso lita 
vasa in angulis columbariis suspenduntur : * quae 
res avibus amorem loci sic conciliat, ne unquam 

Eligendae vero sunt ad educationem neque vetulae, 
nee nimium novellae,^ sed corporis maximi : curan- 
dumque, si fieri possit, ut pulli, quemadmodum exclusi 
sunt, nunquam separentur. Nam fere si sic maritatae ^ 

8 plures educant fetus. Sin aliter, certe nee alieni 
generis ' coniungantur, ut Alexandrinae et Cam- 
panae.^ Minus enim impares suas ^ diligunt, et ideo 
nee multum ineunt, nee saepius fetant. Plumae 
color non semper, nee omnibus idem probatus est : 
atque ideo qui sit optimus, non facile dictu est. 

9 Albus, qui ubique volgo conspicitur, a quibusdam 
non nimium laudatur; nee tamen vitari debet in his, 
quae clauso ^^ continentur. Nam in vagis maxime 

1 relinquat ac : relinquant 8 A . 

* tinnunculum edd. : titiunculum codd. 
' qui add. edd. 

* suspenduntur c : superponuntur SAa. 

* nee nimium novellae om. 8 A. 

* sic maritate ac : si marite SA. 

' alieni generis 8a : aliendi generis A : alienigene c. 

* alexandrina campane SA : alexandrine nee campane 

* impares suas Ursinua : pares suos codd, 
1" clauso Aac : cluso 8. 


cheerful is the appearance of the bird, and so squeam- 
ish is it that it often takes a dislike to its own home 
and abandons it if it is given the oppoi-tunity to fly 
away. This is wont to happen often in districts 
where the birds are allowed free egress. For the 7 
prevention of such an escape, there is an ancient 
precept of Democritus. There is a kind of hawk 
which the country-folk call a ttnnunculus (kestrel) and 
which generally makes its nest in buildings. The 
young of this bird are enclosed separately in earthen- 
ware pots, and while they are still breathing, lids are 
put over the pots which are smeared with plaster and 
hung up in the corners of the pigeon-houses. This 
induces in the birds such a love for the place that they 
never desert it. 

For the rearing of the young chicks female birds 
must be chosen which are neither old nor too young, 
but they should be very large, and care must be 
taken that, if possible, the chicks should never be 
separated but be kept together as they were hatched ; 
for if this principle is observed in mating them, they 
generally rear larger broods. If this is not done, at 8 
any rate birds of diflPerent breeds, for example the 
Alexandrine and the Campanian, should not be 
mated ; for they feel less affection for hen-birds unlike 
themselves and so have little intercourse with them 
and do not often produce offspring. The same 
colour of plumage is not approved always or by 
everybody ; it is, therefore, not easy to say which 
is the best. White, which is generally to be seen 9 
everywhere, is not very highly commended by 
some people ; it should not, however, be avoided 
for birds which are kept in confinement, but for 
those which wander freely it is much to be con- 



est improbandus, quod eum facillime speculatur 

Fecunditas autem, quamvis longe minor sit quam 
est gallinarum, maiorem tamen refert quaestum. 
Nam et octies anno pullos educat, si est bona matrix ; 
et pretiis eorum dominicam ^ complent arcam, sicut 
eximius auctor M. Varro nobis affirmat, qui prodidit 
etiam illis severioribus temporibus paria singula 

10 milibus singulis sestertiorum solita venire. ^ Nam 
nostri pudet seaculi, si credere volumus, inveniri qui 
quaternis milibus nummorum binas aves mercentur. 
Quamquam vel hos magis tolerabiles putem, qui 
oblectamenta deliciarum possidendi habendique 
causa gravi aere et argento pensent, quam illos qui 
Ponticum Phasim et Scythica stagna Maeotidis 
eluant.3 lam nunc Gangeticas et Aegyptias aves 
temulenter eructant. 

11 Potest* tamen etiam in hoc aviario, sicut dictum 
est, sagina exerceri. Nam si quae steriles aut sordidi 
coloris interveniunt, similiter ut gallinae farciuntur, 
Pulli vero facilius sub matribus pinguescunt, si iam 
firmis, prius quam subvolent, paucas detrahas pinnas, 
et obteras crura, ut uno loco quiescant, praebeasque 
copiosum cibum ^ parentibus,^ quo et se et eos 

12 abundantius alant. Quidam leviter obligant crura, 

^ dominicam SAac : domini edd. 

* venire edd. : veniri codd. 
' eluant edd. : heluat codd. 

* potest ac : pontes SA. 

* copiosum cibum ac : copiosus cibum S : copiosus cibus 

* parentibus A : parientibus Sac. 

" R.R., 7. 10. 

* The Rion, flowing into the Black Sea from the east. 


BOOK VIII. viii. 9-12 

demned, because it is very easily espied by a 

Fecundity in pigeons, though it is much less than 
in hens, yet brings in greater profit ; for a pigeon, if 
it is a good breeder, rears eight broods in the year, 
and so pigeons fill the coffers of their owners with 
the prices which their young command, as that 
excellent writer Marcus Varro " assures us, who has 
recorded that, even in those more austere times, a 
single pair used to be sold for 1,000 sesterces. It 10 
makes us blush for the present generation, if we are 
willing to believe that people can be found to pay 
4,000 nummi for a pair of birds, though I should regard 
those people who pay great sums in copper and 
silver for the pleasure which their pets give them 
merely because they own and possess them, as less 
insufferable than those who clear of all their birds the 
river Phasis ^ in Pontus and the pools of Lake 
Maeotis " in Scythia ; nay, they are now in their 
drunkenness belching forth birds brought from the 
Ganges and from Egypt. 

Nevertheless, the fattening process can also be 11 
carried out in this pigeon-house, as has already been 
said; for if any barren or badly-coloured pigeons 
occur, they are crammed in the same manner as 
hens. Young pigeons indeed are more easily fat- 
tened under their mothers' care, if when they are 
already strong but before they begin to fly, you pull 
out a few of their wing-feathers and crush their legs, 
that they may remain quiet in one spot, and give 
plenty of food to the parent-birds with which they 
may feed themselves and their young more abund- 
antly. Some people bind their legs loosely together, 12 

* The Sea of Azov in South Russia. 


quoniam si frangantur, dolorem, et ex eo maciem 
fieri putant. Sed nihil ista res pinguitudinis efficit. 
Nam dum vincula exerere conantur, non conquies- 
cunt : et hac quasi exercitatione corpori nihil adici- 
unt. Fracta crura non plus quam bidui, aut sum- 
mum tridui dolorem afferunt, et spem tollunt 

IX. Turturum educatio supervacua est : quoniam 
id genus ^ in ornithone nee parit nee excludit. Vola- 
tura ita ut capitur, farturae destinatur : eoque leviore 
cura, quam ceterae aves saginatur : verum non 
omnibus temporibus.^ Nam per hiemem, quamvis 
adhibeatur opera, difficulter crescit,^ et tamen, quia 
maior est turdi copia, pretium turturum minuitur. 

2 Rursus aestate vel sua sponte, dummodo sit facultas 
cibi, pinguescit. Nihil enim aliud, quam obicitur 
esca, sed praecipue milium : nee quia tritico vel aliis 
frumentis minus crassescat ; * verum quod semine 
huius maxime delectatur.^ Hieme tamen ofFae panis 
vino madefactae, sicut etiam palumbos, celerius 
opimant quam ceteri cibi. 

3 Receptacula non tanquam columbis loculamenta, 
vel cellulae cavatae efficiuntur,^ sed ad lineam mutuh 
per parietem defixi tegeticulas cannabinas accipiunt, 
praetentis retibus, quibus prohibeantur volare : quo- 

^ id genus ac : ingenuus 8 A. 

^ temporibus 07n. SA. 

' crescit SA : gliscit ac. 

* crassescat SA : -ant a. 

* (ielectatur SA : -antur ac. 

* efliciunt Aac : fiunt S. 

BOOK VIII. VIII. 12-ix. 3 

because they think that if they are broken, pain, 
and consequently emaciation, is caused ; but doing 
so does not contribute at all to their fattening, for, 
while they are trying to get rid of their bonds, they 
are never at rest, and by this kind of exercise, as it 
were, they add nothing to their bulk. Broken legs 
cause pain for not more than two or at most three 
days and deprive them of all hope of wandering 

IX, The rearing of turtle-doves is of no benefit, Turtie- 
because this kind of bird neither lays eggs nor hatches °^^' 
its young in an aviary. A flight of them is ready for 
cramming in the condition in which it is caught, and 
can on this account be crammed with less trouble 
than any other bird, not, however, at every time of 
year. For in the winter, in spite of all the trouble 
spent upon them, it is difficult to make them grow, 
and yet the price of turtle-doves is lessened owing 
to the greater abundance of thrushes. During the 2 
summer, on the other hand, the turtle-dove grows 
fateven of its own accord, provided it has easymeans of 
getting food. Indeed it is only a question of putting 
food in its way, especially millet, not that it grows 
less fat on wheat or other cereals but because it 
takes the greatest pleasure in millet-seed. In winter, 
however, pellets of bread soaked in wine fatten 
turtle-doves as well as wood-pigeons more quickly 
than any other food. 

People do not construct either pigeon-boxes or 3 
hollow cells as receptacles for turtle-doves as for 
wood-pigeons, but brackets are fixed in a row along a 
wall and hold small hempen mats with nets spread 
in front of them, so that the birds are prevented 
from flying about, because, if they do so, they lose 



niam si id faciant, corpori detrahunt. In his assidue 
pascuntur milio aut tritico, sed ea semina dart nisi 
sicca non oportet. Satiatque semodius cibi in diebus 

4 singulis vicenos et centenos turtures. Aqua semper 
recens et quam mundissima vasculis, qualibus 
columbis atque gallinis, praebetur; tegeticulaeque 
emundantur, ne stercus urat pedes, quod tamen et 
ipsum diligenter reponi debet ad cultus agrorum 
arborumque, sicut et omnium avium, praeterquam 
nantium. Huius avis aetas ad saginam non tam 
vetus est idonea quam novella. Itaque circa messem, 
cum iam confirmata est pullities, eligitur. 

X. Turdis maior opera et impensa praebetur, qui 
omni quidem rure, sed salubrius in eo pascuntur, in 
quo capti sunt. Nam difficulter in aliam regionem 
transferuntur, quia caveis clausi plurimi despondent : 
quod faciunt etiam cum eodem momento temporis a 
rete in aviaria coniecti sunt. Itaque ne id accidat, 
veterani debent intermisceri, qui ab aucupibus in 
hunc usum nutriti quasi allectores sint captivorum, 
maestitiamque eorum mitigent intervolando. Sic 
enim consuescent et aquam et cibos appetere feri, si 

2 mansuetos id facere viderint. Locum aeque muni- 
tum et apricum, quam columbi desiderant : sed in eo 
transversae perticae perforatis parietibus adversis 
aptantur, quibus insideant, cum satiati cibo requi- 


BOOK VIII. IX. 3-x. 2 

bulk. Here they are constantly fed with millet or 
wheat ; but the grain must not be given them unless 
it is dry. Half a modius of food every day easily 
satisfies a hundred and twenty turtle-doves. The 4 
purest possible water is always provided in vessels 
such as are used for pigeons and hens. The mats 
are kept clean so that the dung does not burn their 
feet, and the dung should itself be carefully set aside 
for the cultivation of the fields and trees, as also that 
of all birds except those which swim. This bird is 
not so suitable for cramming when it is old as when 
it is young, and so the choice is made about harvest- 
time when the young brood has already gained 

X. Still more labour and expense is spent on Thrushes. 
thrushes, which are kept in every country district, 
but, with greater advantage to their health, in that 
in which they have been caught; for there are 
difficulties about moving them elsewhere, because, 
when they are shut up in cages, most of them become 
despondent; indeed they do so when they are in- 
stantaneously hurled from the net into the aviaries. 
So, to prevent this, some old thrushes ought to be 
mixed with them which, having been brought up by 
the fowlers for this purpose, may serve as decoys for 
the captives and may mitigate their distress by 
flying in among them. For in this way wild birds 
will become used to seeking both their water and 
their food when they have seen the tame birds doing 
so. They require a place as well protected and as 2 
sunny as wood-pigeons need, but transverse poles are 
fixed in it fitted into holes pierced in the walls which 
face one another, on which they may perch when 
they have had their fill of food and wish to rest. 


escere volunt. Eae perticae non altius a terra debent 
sublevari, quam hominis statura patitur, ut a stante 

3 contingi possint. Cibi ponuntur fere partibus his 
ornithonis, quae super se ^ perticas non habent, quo 
mundiores permaneant. Semper autem arida ficus 
diligenter pinsita et permixta polline praeberi debet, 

4 tam large quidem ut supersit. Hanc quidam man- 
dunt, et ita obiciunt. Sed istud in maiore numero 
facere vix expedit, quia nee parvo conducuntur qui 
mandant, et ab his ipsis aliquantum propter iucundi- 
tatem consumitur. Multi varietatem ciborum, ne 
unum fastidiant, praebendam putant ; ea est, cum 

5 obiciuntur myrti et lentisci semina ; item oleastri et 
ederaceae baccae,^ nee minus arbuti.^ Fere enim 
etiam in agris ab eiusmodi volucribus haec appetun- 
tur, quae in aviariis * quoque desidentium ^ detergent 
fastidia, faciuntque avidiorem volaturam, quod 
maxime expedit. Nam largiore cibo celerius pingue- 
scit. Semper tamen etiam canaliculi milio repleti 
apponuntur, quae est firmissima esca. Nam ilia 

6 quae supra diximus, pulmentariorum vice dantur. 
Vasa, quibus recens et munda praebeatur aqua, non 
dissimilia sint gallinariis. 

Hac ^ impensa curaque M. Terentius ternis saepe 
denariis singulos emptitatos ' esse significat avorum 

* se ac : om. SA. 

* edoracee bace ac : herecee vace SA. 
' arbuti edd. : arbusti codd. 

* in aviariis rejietit S. 

* desidentium ac : sidentur SA. 

* hac ac : hanc SA. 

' emptitatos Sa : entitatos A : eptitatos c. 

<• Varro, R.Ii., III. 2. 15. 


BOOK VIII. X. 2-6 

These poles ought not to be raised higher from the 
ground than a man's height allows, so that they may 
be within his reach when he is standing up. The 3 
food is usually placed in those parts of the aviary 
which have no perches above them, so that it may 
remain more clean. Dried figs, carefully crushed and 
mixed with fine flour, ought always to be provided, 
so abundantly indeed that some is left over. Some 
people chew a fig and then offer it to the thrushes ; 4 
but it is scarcely expedient to do this where the 
number of thrushes is large, because people to chew 
the figs cost a good deal to hire and themselves eat 
an appreciable quantity because of the pleasant taste. 
Many people think that a variety of food ought to be 
provided, lest the thrushes take a dislike to a single 
food. This variety consists in putting before themi 
seeds of myrtle and mastic, also wild olive and ivy 
berries and likewise the fruit of the strawberry-tree, 5 
for these are the things for which this kind of bird 
generally seeks in the fields, and so they do away 
with the distaste for food which they feel in their 
idle captivity in the aviaries and make the bird 
population there more voracious, which is a great 
advantage ; for the more they eat the quicker they 
get fat. Little troughs, however, full of millet are 
always placed near them since it is the most solid part 
of their diet ; for the foods which we have mentioned 
above are given them as relishes. Vessels for the 6 
supply of fresh, clean water should be not unlike those 
for poultry. 

Thanks to the expenditure in this way of money 
and care, so Marcus Terentius informs us,* these 
birds were often bought for three denarii a piece in 
our grandfathers' time, when those who celebrated 



temporibus, quibus qui triumphabant populo * 
dabant epulum. At nunc aetatis nostrae luxuria^ 
cotidiana fecit haec pretia : propter quae ne rusticis 
quidem contemnendus sit hie reditus. 

Atque ea genera, quae intra saepta villae cibantur, 
fere persecuti sumus. Nunc de his dicendum est, 
quibus etiam exitus ad agrestia pabula dantur. 

XI. Pavonum educatio magis urbani ^ patris- 
familiae, quam tetrici rustici curam poscit. Sed nee 
haec tamen aliena est agricolae captantis undique 
voluptates acquirere, quibus solitudinem ruris eblan- 
diatur. Harum autem decor avium etiam exteros 
nedum dominos oblectat. Itaque genus alitum 
nemorosis et parvulis insulis, quales obiacent Italiae, 
facillime continetur. Nam quoniam nee sublimiter 
potest nee per longa spatia volitare, tum etiam quia 
furis ac noxiorum animalium rapinae metus non est, 
sine custode tuto vagatur, maioremque pabuli partem 
2 sibi acquirit. Feminae quidem sua sponte tanquam 
servitio liberatae studiosius pullos enutriunt : nee 
curator aliud facere debet, quam ut diei certo tem- 
pore, signo dato, iuxta villam gregem convocet, et 
exiguum hordei concurrentibus obiciat, ut nee avis 
esuriat, et numerus advenientium recognoscatur, 

^ populo Aac : populos S. 

2 luxuria Sc : luxoriae A : luxurio a, 

' urbani c : urbanis SAa, 


BOOK VIII. X. 6-xi. 2 

triumphs gave a feast to the people. But at the 
present day luxury has made this their everyday 
price ; wherefore this source of income must not be 
despised even by farmers. 

We have now dealt in general with those kinds 
of birds which are fed within the precincts of 
the farm ; we must now speak of those which are 
also given freedom to seek their food in the 

XI. The rearing of peafowl calls for the attention Peafowl. 
of the city-dwelling householder rather than of the 
surly countryman ; yet it is not alien to the business 
of the farmer who aims at the acquisition, from every 
source, of pleasure with which he beguiles the loneli- 
ness of country life ; and the elegance of these birds 
delights even strangers, much more their owners. 
This breed of birds, therefore, can be easily kept on 
the small wooded islands which lie off the coast of 
Italy ; for since they cannot fly high or over long 
distances and since too on these islands there is no 
fear of their being carried off by a thief or by 
harmful animals, they can safely wander about 
without anyone to look after them and acquire most 
of their food for themselves. The hen-birds, finding 2 
themselves as it were released from bondage, of their 
own accord bring up their young with unusual devo- 
tion, and the man in charge of them should have 
nothing to do except, at a fixed time of day, to give 
the signal and summon the flock to the neighbour- 
hood of the farm and throw down a small quantity 
of barley before them as they run to meet him, so 
that the birds may not be hungry and that the 
number may be verified of those who come to his 



3 Sed huius possessionis rara conditio est. Quare 
xnediterraneis locis ^ maior adhibenda cura est : 
eaque sic administretur. Herbidus silvestrisque ager 
planus sublimi clauditur ^ maceria, cuius tribus late- 
ribus porticus applicantur, et in quarto duae celiac, 
ut sit altera custodis habitatio, atque altera stabulum 
pavonum. Sub porticibus deinde per ordinem fiunt 
arundinea saepta in modum cavearum, quales ^ 
columbarii tectis superponuntur. Ea saepta dis- 
tinguuntur velut clatris intercurrentibus calamis, ita 

4 ut ab utroque latere singulos aditus habeant. Stabu- 
lum autem carere debet uligine, cuius in solo per 
ordinem figuntur breves paxilli,* eorumque partes 
summae lingulas edolatas habent, quae transversis 
foratis perticis inducantur.^ Hae porro quadratae 
perticae, paxillis superponuntur, ut avem recipiant 
adsilientem. Sed idcirco sunt exemptiles, ut cum 
res exigit, a paxillis deductae ^ liberum aditum con- 
verrentibus stabulum praebeant. 

5 Hoc genus avium, cum trimatum explevit, optime 
progenerat. Siquidem tenerior aetas, aut sterilis, 
aut parum fecunda est. Masculus pavo gallina- 
ceam salacitatem habet, atque ideo quinque feminas 
desiderat. Nam si unam vel alteram fetam saepius 
compressit, vix dum concepta in alvo vitiat ova, nee 
ad partum ' sinit perduci : quoniam immatura geni- 

locis ac : om. SA . 

clauditur a : cluditur SAc. 

quales iS'^ : qualis ac : qualia Schneider, 

paxilli ac : taxilli SA. 

inducantur ac : induantur SA, 

deductae Aac : eductae S. 

ad partum «c ; partum A : parte S, 



But the possession of these birds is a rare circum- 3 
stance and so an unusual amount of care must be 
exercised in inland districts, and the following pro- 
cedure must be followed. A flat piece of land covered 
with grass and trees is enclosed with a high fence to 
three sides of which galleries are attached, while on 
the fourth side there are two huts, one for the 
dwelling-place of the custodian, the other as a 
peacock-house. Then in the galleries enclosures are 
made with reeds in a row to form coops such as are 
placed on the roofs of a pigeon-house. These en- 
closures are separated from one another by barriers 
as it were of reeds which run between them, so 
arranged as to have one entrance on either side. The 4 
peacock-house ought to be entirely free from damp, 
and in the floor short stakes are fixed in a row, the 
tops of which have carefully hewn tenons for insertion 
into holes made in the transverse perches. More- 
over, these perches which are placed on the top of 
the stakes are cut square, so that they may give a 
foothold to a bird when it leaps onto them, but they 
are made so as to be removable in order that, when it 
is necessary, they may be detached from the stakes 
and give free access to those who are sweeping out the 

This kind of fowl, when it has completed its first 5 
three years, breeds excellently, but at a tenderer age 
it is either sterile or not very prolific. The male bird 
has the salaciousness of the farmyard cock and so 
requires five hens ; for if it frequently covers one or 
two of them that have been laying, it spoils eggs 
which are hardly yet formed in the womb and does 
not allow them to be bi'ought to birth, since they fall 
out of the genital parts while they are still immature. 



6 talibus locis excidunt. Ultima parte hiemis conci- 
tantibus libidinem cibis utriusque sexus accendenda 
venus est. Maxima facit ad banc rem, si favilla levi 
torreas fabam, tepidamque des ieiunis quinto quoque 
die. Nee tamen excedas modum sex cyathorum 
in singulas aves. Haec cibaria non omnibus pro- 
rrtiscue ^ spargenda sunt, sed in singulis saeptis, quae 
arundinibus contexi oportere proposueram, portione ^ 
servata quinque feminarum et unius maris, ponenda 
sunt cibaria, nee minus aqua, quae sit idonea potui. 

7 Quod ubi factum est, mares sine rixa ^ diducuntur * 
in sua quisque saepta cum feminis, et aequaliter 
universus grex pascitur. Nam etiam in hoc genere 
pugnaces inveniuntur masculi, qui et a cibo et a coitu 
prohibent minus validos, nisi sint hac ratione separati. 
Fere autem locis apricis ineundi cupiditas exercet 
mares, cum Favonii spirare coeperunt, id est tempus 

8 ab idibus Februariis ante Martium mensem. Signa 
sunt extimulatae libidinis, cum semetipsum veluti 
mirantem caudae gemmantibus pinnis protegit : 
idque cum facit, rotare dicitur. 

Post admissurae tempus confestim matrices custo- 
diendae sunt, ne alibi quam in stabulo fetus edant : 
saepiusque digitis loca feminarum tentanda sunt. 
Nam in promptu gerunt ova, quibus iam partus 
appropinquat. Itaque includendae sunt incipientes,^ 

9 ne extra clausum fetum edant : maximeque tem- 
poribus his, quibus parturiunt, pluribus stramentis 

promiscue a : promisee SA : perraixtae c. 

proposueram portione ac : om. SA. 

sine rixa ac : om. SA. 

diducuntur S : deducuntur Aac. 

incipientes SAac : incientes Ursinus, Schneider, 



In the last part of the winter the desires of both sexes 6 
must be kindled by foods which excite lust. The 
best means to this end is to toast some beans over 
embers which are not very hot and give them while 
still warm to the fowls every fifth day on an empty 
stomach ; but you should not go beyond six cyathi to 
each bird. This food must not be scattered pro- 
miscuously to all of them together but must be 
placed in each of the enclosures, which I had suggested 
should be made of reeds woven together, a portion 
having been set aside for five hens and a cock and 
likewise water which should be suitable for drinking. 
When this has been done the male birds are driven, 7 
without quarrelling, each into its own enclosure 
together with their hens, and the food is equally 
distributed over the whole flock. For even among 
birds of this kind pugnacious males are found which 
try to deprive those which are weaker than them- 
selves of food and sexual intercourse, if they are not 
kept apart in this way. Generally in sunny places, 
when the west winds begin to blow, that is, from the 
13th of February until the month of March, a desire 
for sexual intercourse torments the male birds. It 8 
is a sign that a peacock's lust is excited when it 
covers itself with its bejewelled tail-feathers and 
seems to be admiring itself; when it does so, it is said 
to be " forming a wheel." 

After the mating season the laying hens must 
immediately be watched carefully lest they lay their 
eggs anywhere except in the peacock-house, and 
the parts of the females must often be felt with the 
fingers, for, when the time for laying is at hand, they 
carry their eggs in readiness. When they begin to 9 
lay they must be shut up, so that they may not 



exaggerandum est aviarium, quo tutius integri fetus 
excipiantur. Nam fere pavones, cum ad noctumam 
requiem venerunt, praedictis perticis insistentes 
enituntur ova, quae quo propius ac mollius deci- 
derint, illibatam servant integritatem. Quotidie 
ergo diligenter mane temporibus feturae stabula 
circumeunda erunt, et iacentia ova colligenda. Quae 
quanto recentiora gallinis subiecta sunt, tanto com- 
modius excluduntur : ^ idque fieri maxime patris- 

10 familias rationi conducit. Nam feminae pavones, 
quae non incubant, ter anno fere partus edunt : at 
quae fovent ova, totum tempus fecunditatis aut 
excludendis aut ^ etiam educandis pullis consumunt. 
Primus est partus quinque fere ovorum ; secundus 

11 quattuor; tertius aut trium aut duorum. Neque est 
quod committatur, ut Rhodiae aves pavoninis in- 
cubent, quae ne suos quidem fetus commode 
nutriunt. Sed veteres maximae quaeque gallinae 
vernaculi generis eligantur : ^ eaeque novem diebus a 
primo lunae incremento, novenis ovis incubent, sint- 
que ex his quinque pavonina, cetera gallinacei 

12 generis. Decimo deinceps die omnia gallinacea sub- 
trahantur, et totidem recentia eiusdem generis 
supponantur, ut trigesima luna, quae est fere nova, 
cum pavoninis excludantur. Sed custodis curam 

^ excuduntur SAa : excluduntur c. 

* excludendis aut edd. : excudendis aut ac : oni. SA. 

* eligantur ac : religantur SA, 


BOOK VIII. XI. 9-12 

produce their eggs outside the enclosure. Above all 
during the seasons in which they lay, the peacock- 
house must be piled high with more straw, the better 
to ensure that the eggs are delivered intact. For 
usually peahens, having come to seek rest at night, 
lay their eggs while they are roosting on the perches, 
which have already been described, and when the 
eggs have fallen from a lesser height and more softly, 
they keep their soundness unimpaired. Every day, 
therefore, during the period of laying you will have 
to go carefully round the peacock-houses in the early 
morning and collect the eggs which are lying about, 
and the fresher they are when they are set under the 
hen, the better are the prospects of a good hatch, 
and that this should be done is very much to the house- 
holder's advantage. For peahens which do not sit 10 
generally produce three lots of eggs during the year, 
but those which sit spend the whole period of their 
productivity in either hatching or even rearing their 
young. The first laying generally consists of five 
eggs, the second of four, and the third of either three 
or two. There is no reason for making the mistake 11 
of letting Rhodian hens incubate peahens' eggs, 
since they do not even bring up their own offspring 
properly ; but the biggest veteran farmyard-fowls of 
our native breed should be chosen and should be put 
to sit upon nine eggs, five of which should be pea- 
hen's and the rest ordinary hen's eggs, nine days 
after the moon's first increase. Then on the tenth 12 
day all the hen's eggs should be removed and the 
same number of fresh eggs of the same kind sub- 
stituted, that they may be hatched out with the 
peahen's eggs on the thirtieth day which is about 
new moon. But it must not escape the keeper's 



non efFugiat observare desilientem matricem, saepius- 
que ad cubile pervenire, et pavonina ova, quae 
propter magnitudinem difficilius a gallina moventur, 
versare manu : idque quo diligentius faeiat, una pars 
ovorum notanda est atramento, quod signum habebit 

13 aviarius,^ an a gallina conversa sint. Sed, ut dixi, 
meminerimus cohortales quam maximas ad hanc rem 
praeparari. Quae si mediocris habitus sunt, non 
debent amplius quam terna pavonina et sena generis 
sui fovere. Cum deinde feeerit pullos, ad aliam 
nutrieem gallinacei debebunt transferri, et subinde 
qui nati fuerint pavonini ad unam congregari, donee 

14 quinque et viginti capitum grex efficiatur. Sed cum ^ 
erunt editi pulli, similiter ut gallinacei prime die non 
moveantur : postero die cum educatrice trans- 
ferantur in caveam : primisque diebus alantur 
hordeaceo farre vino resperso, nee minus ex quolibet 
frumento cocta pulticula, et refrigerata. Post paucos 
deinde dies huic ^ cibo adiciendum erit concisum 
porrum Tarentinum, et caseus mollis vehementer 
expressus ; nam serum nocere pullis manifestum est. 

15 Locustae quoque pedibus ademptis utiles cibandis 
pullis habentur, atque his pasci debent usque ad 
sextum mensem : postmodum satis est hordeum de 
manu praebere. Possunt autem post quintum et 
trigesimum diem quam nati sunt, etiam in agrum 

habiarius S. * cum ac : om. SA. 

* huic ac : hie S : hoc A. 


BOOK VIII. XI. 12-15 

attention to mark the mother-hen when she leaps 
down and to visit the nest-box frequently and with 
his hand to turn the peahen's eggs, which on account 
of their size are more difficult for the farmyard-hen 
to move ; and so that he may carry out this task with 
greater care, one side of the eggs should be marked 
with ink and the poultry-man will then have a means 
of knowing whether the eggs have been turned by 
the hen. But, as I have said, we must remember that 13 
farmyard hens of the greatest possible size are pro- 
vided for this purpose ; and if they are of only moder- 
ate build, they ought not to sit upon more than three 
peahen's eggs and six of their own kind. When the 
hen has hatched the chickens, the farmyard chickens 
will have to be transferred to another nurse, and any 
young peafowls which are hatched from time to time 
should be collected round one nurse until a flock of 
twenty-five head is made up. But when the young 14 
peafowls are hatched out, on the first day, like farm- 
yard chickens, they should not be moved, but on the 
following day they should be transferred to a coop 
with the hen that is to bring them up, and during the 
first days they should be fed on barley-meal sprinkled 
with wine and with gruel made from any kind of 
cereal and allowed to grow cold. Then after a few 
days a Tarentine leek cut up small should be added 
to their diet and soft cheese which has been pressed out 
with great force, for whey is obviously harmful to 
chickens. Locusts too, whose feet have been re- 15 
moved, are regarded as useful for feeding the 
peachicks and they ought to eat them until the sixth 
month ; afterwards it is enough to give them barley 
from the hand. After the thirty-fifth day following 
their birth they may even be quite safely taken out 



satis tuto educi, sequiturque grex velut matrem 
gallinam singultientem. Ea cavea clausa ^ fertur in 
agrum a pastore, et emissa ligato pede longa linea 
custoditur, ad quam ^ circumvolant puUi. Qui cum 
ad satietatem pasti sunt, reducuntur in villam perse- 

16 quentes, ut dixi, nutricis singultus,^ Satis autem 
convenit inter auctores, non debere alias 
gallinas, quae pullos sui generis educant, in eodem 
loco pasci. Nam cum conspexerunt pavoninam 
prolem, sues pullos diligere desinunt, et immaturos 
relinquunt, perosae videlicet, quod nee magnitudine, 
nee specie pavoninis pares sint. Vitia quae gallinaceo 
generi * nocere Solent, eadem has aves infestant : 
sed nee remedia traduntur alia, quam quae gallinaceis 
adhibentur. Nam et pituita et cruditas, et si quae 
aliae sunt pestes, iisdem remediis, quae proposuimus, 

17 prohibentur. Septimum deinde mensem cum ex- 
cesserunt, in stabulo cum ceteris ad nocturnam 
requiem debent includi. Sed erit curandum, ne 
humi maneant. Nam qui sic cubitant, tollendi sunt, 
et supra perticas imponendi, ne frigore laborent. 

XII. Numidicarum eadem est fere quae pavonum 
educatio. Ceterum silvestres gallinae, quae rusticae 
appellantur, in servitute non fetant : et ideo nihil de 
his praecipimus, nisi ut cibus ad satietatem prae- 
beatur, quo sint conviviorum epulis aptiores. 

1 ea cavea clausa ac : ex causam causaque SA. 

* ad quam ac : aquam SA. 
^ singultus ac : singuli SA. 

* gallinaceo generi ac : gallinacei generis SA. 


BOOK VIII. XI. 15-X11. I 

into a field, and the flock follows the clucking hen as 
though it were their mother. The latter is shut up 
in a coop and taken out to the field by the man who 
feeds them, and when it is let out it is secured by a 
long line attached to its foot. The chicks flutter 
round it and, when they have eaten their fill, they are 
brought back to the farm, following the clucking of 
their foster-mother, as I have already described. 
The authorities are pretty well agreed that the other 16 
hens which are bringing up chickens of their own 
kind ought not to be fed in the same place ; for when 
they have seen the little peachicks, they cease to care 
for their own chickens and abandon them before they 
reach maturity, evidently hating them because they do 
not equal the little peachicks either in size or in beauty. 

The same diseases as usually harm fai*myard fowls 
attack these birds also, and no remedies are applied 
to them other than those which are administered to 
ordinary cocks and hens ; for the pip and indigestion 
and any other plagues which occur are checked by the 
same remedies as we have prescribed. When they 17 
have passed the seventh month, they should be shut 
up with the others in the peacock-house for their 
night's rest ; but care will have to be taken that they 
do not remain on the ground. Those who go to sleep 
in this position must be picked up and placed on the 
perches, so that they may not suffer from the cold. 

XII. The rearing of guinea-fowls is almost the Guinea- 
same as that of peacocks. But woodland hens, which fP^gtic''^ 
are called " rustic "-fowls, do not breed in captivity, cocks. 
and, therefore, we have no instructions to give about 
them except that they must be given their fill of food, 
so that they may be better suited for feasts to which 
guests are invited. 

VOL. H. O 


XIII. Venio nunc ad eas aves, quas Graeci vocant 
a/JicfyL^LOVs, quia non tantum terrestria, sed aquatilia 
quoque desiderant pabula, nee magis humo quam 
stagno consueverunt. Eiusque generis anser praeci- 
pue rusticis gratus est, quod nee maximam curam 
poscit, et solertioreni eustodiam quam eanis praebet. 

2 Nam clangore prodit insidiantem, sicut etiam 
memoria tradidit in obsidione Capitolii, cum ad- 
ventum^ Gallorum voeiferatus est, canibus silentibus.^ 
Is autem non ubique haberi potest, ut existimat 
verissime Celsus, qui sic ait : anser neque sine aqua, 
nee sine multa herba facile sustinetur, neque utilis 
est locis consitis, quia quicquid rerum ^ contingere 

3 potest, carpit. Sicubi vero flumen aut lacus est, 
herbaeque copia, nee nimis iuxta satae fruges, id 
quoque genus * nutriendum est. Quod etiam nos 
facere censemus, non quia magni sit fructus, sed quia 
minimi oneris. Attamen praestat ex se pullos atque 
plumam, quam non, ut in ovibus lanam, semel 
demetere, sed bis anno, vere et autumno vellere licet. 
Atque ob has quidem causas, si permittit locorum 
conditio, vel paucos utique oportet educare, singulis- 
que maribus ternas feminas destinare. Nam propter 
gravitatem plures inire non possunt. Quinetiam 
intra cohortem, ut protecti sint, secretas singulis 

^ adventum SAac : adventu edd, 
* silentibus ac : om. 8 A. 
^ rerum SA : tenerum ac. 



XIII. I now come to those birds which the Greeks Amphibious 
call " amphibious," because they require not only food 
produced from the earth but also that which comes 
from the water, and have accustomed themselves 
quite as much to standing water as to the land. Of 
this type of bird the goose is particularly acceptable 
to farmers, because it does not demand very much 
attention and keeps watch more cleverly than a dog, 
since by its cackling it betrays the presence of any- 2 
one who is lying in wait, just as (so history has in- 
formed us) when during the siege of the Capitol it 
was the goose which loudly announced the approach 
of the Gauls while the dogs kept silence. The 
goose, however, cannot be kept everywhere, an 
opinion which Celsus expresses with much truth 
when he says : " A goose cannot easily be maintained 
v/ithout plenty of water and plenty of grass and is not 
profitable in closely planted land because it plucks 
at anything which it can reach ; but wherever there 3 
is a river or a lake and an abundance of grass and 
there are not sown crops too near at hand, this kind 
of bird also should be reared." We, furthermore, are 
in favour of keeping geese not because it brings a 
large profit but because it gives very little trouble. 
Yet it produces goslings and feathers ; the latter 
you may gather not merely once a year, like wool 
from sheep, but you can pluck twice, in spring and 
in autumn. Indeed for these reasons, if local con- 
ditions permit, you should rear at any rate a few 
geese and assign three female birds to one male ; for 
because of their weight they cannot couple with 
more. Moreover, so that they may have protection, 
separate goose pens should be made for each inside 

* id quoque genus ac : om. SA. 



haras faceret oportet,^ in quibus cubitent et fetus 
ubi edant. 

XIV. Qui vero greges nantium possidere student, 
chenoboscia ^ constituunt,^ quae turn demum vige- 
bunt, si fuerint ordinata ratione tali. Cohors ab omni 
cetero pecore secreta clauditur alta novem pedum 
maceria, porticibusque circumdata, ita ut in aliqua 
parte sit cella custodis. Sub porticibus deinde 
quadratae harae ^ caementis vel etiam laterculis 
extruuntur : quas singulas satis est habere quoquo- 
versus pedes ternos, et aditus singulos firmis ostiolis 
munitos : quia per fetui'am diligenter claudi debent. 

2 Extra villam deinde non longe ab aedificio si est 
stagnum vel flumen, alia non quaeratur aqua : sin 
aliter, lacus piscinaque manu fiant, ut sint quibus 
inurinare possint aves. Nam sine isto primordio non 
magis quam sine terreno recte vivere queunt.^ 
Palustris quoque,* sed herbidus ager destinetur, 
atque alia pabula conserantur, ut vicia, trifolium, 
faenum Graecum, sed praecipue genus intubi, quod 
aeptv ' Graeci appellant. Lactucae quoque in hunc 
usum semina vel maxime serenda sunt, quoniam et 
mollissimum est olus, et libentissime ab his avibus 
appetitur. Turn etiam puUis utilissima est esca, 

3 Haec cum praeparata sunt, curandum est, ut mares 
feminaeque quam amplissimi corporis et albi coloris 

^ quinetiam — oportet Schneider : quin et etiam in rutectis 
circa chortem secretis angulis haras (aras A) facere <S^ : quin 
etiam intra cohortem protecti sint secretis anglis haras 
facere a : intra cohortem pretecti secretis angulis raras 
facere c. 

^ chenoboscia nam A : XHNOBOC nam S : om. ac. 

' statuunt A. 

* harae Aa : are c : habere S. 

* quemit ac : nequeunt SA. * quodque S. 


BOOK VIII. XIII. 3-xiv. 3 

the poultry-yard " in which they can rest and where 
they can lay their eggs. 

XIV. Those who desire to possess flocks of swimming The housing 
birds establish goose-pens, which then will flourish of geeS."^ 
only if they are arranged in the following manner. 
A yard remote from any other livestock is enclosed 
by a wall nine feet high and surrounded by porticos 
so arranged that the keeper's hut may be in some 
part of them. Then under the porticos square pens 
are built of unhewn stones or even small bricks. It is 
enough if each pen measures three feet each way and 
has a single entrance fitted with strong little doors, 
because the pens ought to be kept shut when the 
geese are laying or sitting. If there is a pool or river 2 
outside the farm and not far from the building, no 
other water need be looked for ; otherwise a lake 
and fish-pond should be artificially constructed, so 
that the geese may have water into which to dive ; 
for they can no more live properly without the 
element of water than they can without the element 
of earth. A marshy field too which is also grassy 
should be set aside for them, and other foods be sown 
such as vetch, trefoil, fenugreek and above all the 
kind of endive which the Greek call serisfi Lettuce 
seeds in particular should also be sown for this pur- 
pose, since it is a very tender vegetable and is also 
much sought after by these birds ; also it is a very 
useful food for goslings. 

Having made all these preparations, you must take 3 
care that the male and female birds which you choose 
are of the largest possible size and of a white colour ; 

" The text here is uncertain but the meaning is clear. 
» Dioscorides, II. 132. 

' aepiv edd. : caepim 8 : cepi A : om. ac. 



eligantur. Nam est aliud genus varium, quod a fero 
mitigatum domesticum factum est. Id neque aeque 
fecundum est, nee tam pretiosum : propter quod 

4 minime nutriendum est. Anseribus admittendis 
tempus aptissimum est a bruma ; mox ad pariendum, 
et ad incubandum a Calen. Februariis vel Martiis 
usque ad solstitium, quod fit ultima parte mensis 
lunii. Ineunt autem non, ut priores aves, de quibus 
diximus, insistentes humi : nam fere in flumine aut 
piscinis id faciunt : singulaeque ter anno pariunt, si 
prohibeantur fetus suos excudere,^ quod magis 

5 expedit, quam quurft ipsae suos fovent. Nam et a 
gallinis melius enutriuntur, et longe maior grex 
efficitur. Pariunt autem singulis fetibus ova, primo 
quina, sequenti quaterna, novissimo terna : quern 
partum nonnulli permittunt ipsis matribus educare, 
quia reliquo tempore anni vacaturae sunt a fetu. 
Minime autem concedendum est feminis extra 
saeptum parere, sed cum videbuntur sedem quaerere, 
comprimendae sunt atque tentandae. Nam si 
appropinquant partus, digito tanguntur ova, quae 

6 sunt in prima parte locorum genitalium. Quam- 
obrem perduci ad haram debent, includique ut fetum 
edant : idque singulis semel fecisse satis est, quoniam 
unaquaeque recurrit eodem, ubi primo peperit. 
Sed novissimo fetu cum volumus ipsas incubare, 
notandi erunt uniuscuiusque partus, ut suis matribus 

^ oxcudore codd. : excludere edd. 


for there is another kind which is of various colours 
and, originally wild, has been tamed and become a 
domestic bird, but it is not so prolific and commands 
a lower price, and so should certainly not be reared. 4 
The most suitable time for coupling geese is from the 
height of winter onwards, and then for laying eggs 
and sitting on them from the first of February or 
March until the summer solstice, which falls in the 
last part of the month of June. They couple not 
standing on the ground, like the birds of whom we 
dealt before, but generally in a river or pond ; and 
each hen-bird lays a clutch of eggs three times a year 
if prevented from hatching them out, which is a better 
plan than if they sit on their own eggs ; for the young 5 
are better reared by ordinary hens and also the 
result is a much larger flock. At each laying they 
produce the following numbers of eggs, at the first 
five, at the next four and at the last three. Some 
people allow the geese themselves to rear the last 
clutch, because for the rest of the year they will be 
taking a holiday from laying. The female birds 
must not on any account be allowed to lay outside 
the enclosure, but, when they seem to be looking for 
a nesting-place, they must be stopped and must be 
examined ; for if they are near laying, the eggs, which 
are in the nearest part of the genital organs, can be 
felt with the finger. Wherefore they ought to be 6 
taken to the goose-pen and shut up there so that they 
may lay their eggs ; and it is enough to have done 
this once with each of them since every one of them 
returns to the place where it first laid an egg. But, 
after the last laying, when we wish the geese 
themselves to sit, the eggs of each Avill have to be 
marked so that they may be put under those which 



subiciantur: quoniam negatur anser aliena ex- 
cudere ova, nisi subiecta sua quoque habuerit. 
Supponuntur autem gallinis huius generis ova, sicut 
pavonina, plurima quinque, paucissima tria : ipsis 

7 autem anseribus paucissima vii, plurima xv. Sed 
custodiri debet, ut ovis subiciantur herbae urticarum, 
quo quasi remedio medicantur, ne noceri possit 
excusis ^ anserculis, quos enecant urticae, si teneros 
pupugerint. Pullis autem formandis excudendisque 
triginta diebus opus est, cum sunt frigora : nam 
tepidis XXV satis est. Saepius tamen anser trigesimo 

8 die nascitur, Atque is dum exiguus est, decern 
primis diebus pascitur in hara clausus ^ cum matre : 
postea cum serenitas permittit, producitur in prata, 
et ad piscinas. Cavendumque est, ne aut aculeis 
urticae compungatur, aut esuriens mittatur in 
pascuum : sed ante concisis intubis vel lactucae foliis 
saturetur. Nam si est adhuc parum firmus indigens 
ciborum pervenit in pascuum, fruticibus aut solidi- 
oribus herbis obluctatur ita pertinaciter, ut collum 
abrumpat. Milium quoque aut etiam triticum 
mixtum cum aqua recte praebetur. Atque ubi 
paulum se confirmavit, in gregem coaequalium 
compellitur, et hordeo alitur : quod et matricibus 

9 praebere non inutile est. Pullos autem non expedit 
plures in singulas haras quam vicenos adici ; nee 
rursus omnino cum maioribus includi, quoniam vali- 

^ excusis edd. : excussis codd. 
* clausus ac : clauaum SA. 



laid them ; for it is said that a goose does not hatch 
another's eggs unless she has some of her own also 
beneath her. Goose eggs, like those of peahens, 
are put under ordinary hens, the maximum numbers 
being five and the minimum three, whereas a mini- 
mum of seven and a maximum of fifteen are put 
under the geese themselves. But care must be 7 
taken, when stalks of nettle (which are used as a 
remedy to cure disease) are placed under the eggs, 
that they may not possibly hurt the goslings when 
they are hatched ; for nettles kill them if they sting 
them when they are quite young. Thirty days are 
required for the forming and hatching of the goslings 
when the weather is cold ; for when it is warm, 
twenty-five days are enough, but more often the 
gosling is hatched on the thirtieth day. While it is 8 
quite small, for the first ten days it is shut up with 
its mother in the pen and fed there ; afterwards, 
when calm weather allows, it is taken out into the 
meadows and to the ponds. Care must be taken 
that it is not stung by the prickles of the nettle or 
sent out hungry to pasture, but that it has had its 
fill beforehand of chopped endive or lettuce leaves ; 
for if it is still not very strong and arrives hungry at 
the pasture-ground, it struggles so persistently with 
shrubs or the tougher plants that it breaks its neck. 
It is also well to provide it with millet or even wheat 
mixed with water. When it has become a little 
stronger, it is driven out to join a flock of birds of its 
own age and fed on barley, the provision of which for 
laying geese also is not without advantage. It is not 9 
expedient to assign more than twenty goslings to each 
goose-pen, nor, again, must they be shut up at all 
with birds older than themselves, since the stronger 



dior enecat infirmum. Cellas, in quibus incubitant, 
siccissimas esse oportet, substratasque habere paleas : 
vel si eae non sunt, crassissimum ^ quodque ^ faenum. 
Cetera eadem, quae in aliis generibus pullorum 
servanda sunt, ne coluber, ne vipera, felesque, aut 
etiam mustela possit aspirare : quae fere pernicies 
ad internecionem prosternunt teneros. 

10 Sunt qui hordeum maceratum incubantibus appo- 
nant, nee patiantur matrices saepius nidum relinquere. 
Deinde pullis excusis primis quinque diebus polentam 
vel maceratum far,^ sicut pavonibus obiciunt. Non- 
nulli etiam viride nasturtium consectum minutatim 
cum aqua praebent, eaque eis est esca iucundissima.* 
Mox ubi quattuor mensium facti sunt, farturae 
maximus quisque destinatur, quoniam tenera aetas 
praecipue habetur ad hanc rem aptissima : et est 

11 facilis harum avium sagina : ^ nam praeter polentam 
et pollinem ter die nihil sane aliud dari necesse est, 
dummodo large bibendi potestas fiat, nee vagandi 
facultas detur, sintque calido et tenebricoso loco : 
quae * res ad creandas adipes multum conferunt. 
Hoc modo duobus mensibus pinguescunt etiam 

^ crassissimum SA : gratissimum ac. 

' quodque edd. : quoque codd. 

^ maceratum far ac : carata fari S : caratam farris A. 


BOOK VIII. XIV. 9-1 1 

kills the weaker. The coops in which they sleep 
must be very dry and have chaff spread on the floor, 
or, if this is not available, the coarsest possible hay. 
For the rest, the same precautions must be taken as 
for other kinds of young birds to prevent a grass-snake 
or a viper or a cat or even a weasel from being able 
to catch them ; for these pestilential creatures 
generally lay them low and destroy them while they 
are young and tender. 

Some people put barley soaked in water by the side 10 
of geese which are sitting and do not allow them to 
leave the nest too often ; then, when the goslings have 
been hatched, for the first five days they put before 
them pearl-barley or meal soaked in water, as they 
also give to peahens. Others give them green cress 
cut up very small with water — a food which is very 
agreeable to them. Then Avhen they have become 
four months old, all the biggest goslings are set aside 
for fattening, since a tender age is regarded as 
especially suitable for this process. Indeed the 
cramming of these birds is an easy matter; for 11 
besides pearl-barley and wheat-flour three times a 
day, absolutely nothing else need be given them, 
provided that they have facilities for drinking 
freely and are not allowed to wander about and 
are kept in a warm, shady place ; for all these 
precautions contribute greatly to the formation of 
fat. In this manner even the older birds grow 
fat in two months, for the tenderest young brood 

* iocundissima ac : iucundissimum SA. 

* sagina c : saginam SAa. 

* tenebricoso loco quae Ac : tenebroso a : tenebricosolo 
quoque S. 



maiores. Nam tenerrima pullities ^ saepe xl diebus 
opima 2 redditur. 

XV. Nessotrophii cura similis, sed maior impensa 
est. Nam clausae pascuntur anates, querquedulae, 
boscides, phalerides,^ similesque volucres, quae stagna 
et paludes rimantur. Locus planus eligitur, isque 
munitur sublimiter pedum quindecim maceria : 
deinde clatris superpositis, vel grand! macula retibus 
contegitur, ne aut evolandl sit potestas domesticis 
avibus, aut aquilis vel accipitribus involandi. Sed ea 
tota maceries opere tectorio levigatur extra intraque, 

2 ne feles, aut viverra perrepat. Media ^ deinde parte 
nessotrophii lacus defoditur in duos pedes altitu- 
dinis, spatiumque longitudini ^ datur et latitudini 
quantum loci ^ conditio permittit. 

3 Ora lacus ne corrumpantur violentia restagnantis 
undae, quae semper influere debet, opere signino 
consternuntur, eaque non in gradus oportet erigi, 
sed paulatim clivo subsidere, ut tamquam e litore 
descendatur in aquam. Solum autem stagni per 
circuitum, quod sit instar modi totius duarum partium, 
lapidibus inculcatis ac ' tectorio muniendum est, ne 
possit herbas evomere, praebeatque nantibus aquae * 

^ pinguescunt etiam maiores. Nam tenerrima pullities 
Schneider : pinguescunt etiara patriminam pullities SA : 
pinguescunt etiam propter nimiam pullutiem (polliciem c) a. 

^ opima edd. : optima codd. 

' phalerides edd. : plargides S : philagrides ac : om. A. 

* media ac : medio SA. 

* longitudini edd. : longitudinis codd. 

* loci ac : locis SA. 
' ac ac : ad SA. 

* ad quam a : aquae c : aquam S : ad aquam A. 

" The text of this passage is undoubtedly corrupt. 
Schneider's restoration certainly gives the right sense, since 

BOOK VIII. XIV. ii-xv. 3 

is often brought to a plump condition in forty- 

XV. A place for rearing ducks requires similar Ducks. 
attention but is more costly. For mallard, teal, 
pochard and coots and similar birds, which root 
about in pools and marshes, can be kept in captivity. 
A level space is chosen and is provided with a wall 
fifteen feet high; then it is covered in by having 
lattice-work or nets of a large mesh placed over it, 
so that there may be no opportunity for the tame 
birds to fly away or for eagles or hawks to fly in. 
The whole of the wall is made smooth by plastering 2 
it inside and outside, so that no cat or ferret may creep 
through it. Then in the middle of the duck-yard a 
pond is dug, two feet deep, and as much space is 
assigned to its length and width as the local conditions 

The edges of the pond are paved with plaster, so 3 
that they may not be damaged by the violence of the 
water when it overflows (for it ought to be always 
running in), and they should not be raised in the 
form of steps but should slope down gradually, so 
that there may be an easy descent as if from the 
shore into the water. The floor of the pond along 
the circumference to the extent of aljout two- thirds of 
its whole dimension must be constructed with stones 
well rammed down and plaster, so that it may not be 
able to put forth any vegetation and may keep the 
surface of the water clear for the fowls which swim 

the passage is imitated by Palladius, R.R., Chapter XXX : 
melius jAnguescimt in ienera aetate. Polenta dabitur in die ter. 
Large vagari liceniia prohibetur. Loco obscuro claudentur et 
calido. Sic maiores etiam secundo mense pinguescunt ; nam 
parvuli saefe die irigesimo. 



4 puram superficiem. Media rursus terrena pars esse 
debet, ut colocasiis conseratur, aliisque familiaribus 
aquae ^ viridibus, quae inopacant avium receptacula. 
Sunt enim quibus cordi est vel in silvulis tamaricum, 
aut scirporum frutectis immorari. Nee ob banc 
tamen eausam totus locus silvulis occupetur, sed ut 
dixi, per circuitum vacet, ut sine impedimento, cum 
apricitate ^ diei gestiunt aves, nandi velocitate con- 

5 certent. Nam quemadmodum desiderant esse quo ^ 
irrepant, et ubi delitescentibus fluvialibus * animali- 
bus insidientur, ita oifenduntur, si non sunt libera 
spatia, qua permeent. Extra lacum deinde per 
vicenos undique ^ pedes gramine ripae vestiantur : 
sintque post hunc agri modum circa maceriam lapide 
fabricata et expolita tectoriis pedalia in quadratum 
cubilia, quibus innidificent aves : eaque contegantur 
intersitis buxeis aut myrteis fruticibus, qui non 
excedant altitudinem parietum. 

6 Statim deinde perpetuus canaliculus humi de- 
pressus construatur, per quem quotidie mixti cum 
aqua cibi decurrant : sic enim pabulatur ^ id genus 
avium. Gratissima est esca terrestris leguminis 
panicum et milium, necnon et hordeum : sed ubi 
copia est, etiam glans ac vinacea praebentur. Aqua- 
tilis autem cibi si sit facultas, datur cammarus, et 

^ atque SAac. 

2 apricitate ac : apricitatem SA. 

* quo edd. : qui codd. 

* fluvialibus SA : fluviaticis ac. 

* undique ac : undequi SA. 

* pabulatur Aac : ambulatur 8. 

" Nelumbium apecioaum, a plant of the lily kind which grows 
in the lakes and marshes of Egypt. 


upon it. On the other hand, the middle part of the 4 
pond should be made of earth, so that it may be sown 
with the Egyptian bean " and other green stuff which 
generally grows in the water and provides shade for the 
haunts of the waterfowl. Some of them take pleasure 
in lingering in little plantations of tamarisk and thickets 
of club-rushes. Nevertheless the whole space should 
not fortius reason be occupied by little plantations, but, 
as I have said, should be left free all round the 
circumference, so that, as they are cheered by a 
day of sunshine, the water fowl may vie with one 
another to see which swims the fastest. For just as 5 
they require to be where there are holes into which 
they can creep and where they can lie in wait for 
fresh-water creatures which are in hiding, so they are 
displeased if there are no open spaces in which they 
can roam freely. The banks of the pond should be 
clothed with grass to a distance of twenty feet all 
round and beyond this space round the wall there 
should be nest-boxes one foot square made of stone 
and covered with a smooth layer of plaster in which 
the birds may lay their eggs. These nest-boxes 
should be protected by bushes planted between 
them of box and myrtle which should not exceed the 
walls in height. 

Next a continuous channel should be constructed, 6 
sunk into the ground, along which the food may be 
carried down every day mingling with the water, for 
this is how birds of this kind get their food. The 
foods grown on dry land which they like best are 
panic-grass andmillet and also barley ; but, where there 
is abundance of them, acorns and grape-husks are also 
provided. If there is food which grows in the water 
available, they are given fresh-water crayfish and small 



rivalis alecula, vel si qua sunt incrementi parvi 
fluviorum animalia. 

7 Tempora concubitus eadem quae ceterae silvestres 
alites observant Martii, sequentisque mensis : per 
quos festucae ^ surculique in vivariis ^ passim spar- 
gendi sunt, ut colligere possint aves, quibus nidos 
construant. Sed antiquissimum est, cum quis nesso- 
trophion constituere volet, ut praedictarum avium 
circa paludes, in quibus plerumque fetant, ova 
coUigat, et cohortalibus gallinis subiciat. Sic enim 
excussi educatique pulli deponunt ingenia silvestria, 
clausique vivariis haud dubitanter progenerant. 
Nam si modo captas aves, quae consuevere libero ^ 
victu, custodiae tradere velis, parere cunctantur in 
servitute. Sed de tutela nantium volucrum satis 
dictum est. 

XVI. Verum opportune, dum meminimus aquati- 
lium animalium, ad curam pervenimus piscium, 
quorum reditum quamvis alienissimum agricul- 
toribus putem (quid enim tarn contrarium est, quam 
terrenum fluido ?), tamen non omittam : nam et ha- 
rum studia rerum maiores nostri celebraverunt, adeo 
quidem, ut etiam dulcibus aquis marinos clauderent * 
pisces, atque eadem cura mugilem scarumque ^ 
nutrirent, qua nunc muraena et lupus educatur. 

2 Magni enim aestimabat vetus ilia Romuli et Numae 
rustica progenies, si urbanae vitae comparetur 
villatica, nulla parte copiarum defici. Quamobrem 

^ festucae ac : fetu SA . 

* vivariis S : aviariis Aac. 
' consuevere libero om. SA. 

* dulcibus aquis marinos clauderent edtl. : dulcibus aquibus 
a fluviatilis cludent <S^ : duabus aquis fluviales clauderent 
a : dulcibus aquis fluviales clauderent c. 


BOOK VIII. XV. 6-xvi. 2 

pickled river-fish and any other river animals which 
grow only to a small size. 

They observe the same seasons for coupling as other 7 
wild birds, namely, March and the following month. 
During these months stalks and twigs should be 
scattered about everywhere in the bird-pens, so that 
the birds may be able to collect them and use them to 
build their nests. But it is most important, when 
anyone wishes to establish a place for rearing ducks, 
to collect the eggs of the said fowls in the region of 
the marshes, where they usually lay, and set them 
under farm-yard hens. For when they are hatched 
and reared in this way they lay aside their wild nature 
and undoubtedly breed shut up in the bird-pens. 
If you want to hand over to custody birds which have 
only just been caught and have been used to a life of 
liberty, they are slow to begin to lay in captivity. 
But enough has now been said about the care of fowls 
which swim. 

XVI. In dealing with aquatic animals we come in Fishes. 
due course to the management of fishes, the profitable 
nature of which, though I regard it as far removed 
from the business of farmers — for what things are so 
contrary to one another as dry land and water ? — I 
will nevertheless not pass over. Our ancestors carried 
their zeal for this pursuit to such a pitch that they even 
imprisoned salt-water fish in fresh water and fed the 
grey mullet and parrot wrasse with the same care with 
which the lamprey and the sea-pike are now reared. 
The country-bred descendants of Romulus and Numa 2 
of old prided themselves greatly on the fact that, if 
life on the farm were compared with that in the town, 
it did not fall short of it in abundance of any kind ; 

* squalumque SAa : scalumque c. 



non solum piscinas, quas ipsi construxerant, fre- 
quentabant : sed etiam quos rerum natura lacus 
fecerat, convectis marinis seminibus replebant. Inde 
Velinus, inde etiam Sabatinus, item Volsiniensis, et 
Ciminius lupos auratasque procreaverunt, ac si qua 
sunt alia piscium genera dulcis undae tolerantia. 

3 Mox istam curam sequens aetas abolevit, et lautitiae 
locupletum maria ipsa Neptunumque clauserunt, ut ^ 
iam turn avorum ^ memoria cii'cumferretur Marcii 
Philippi velut urbanissimum, quod erat luxuriosi ^ 
factum atque dictum. Nam is forte Casini cum apud 
hospitem cenaret, appositumque e vicino flumine 
lupum degustasset atque expuisset, improbum 
factum dicto prosecutus : Peream, inquit, nisi piscem 

4 putavi. Hoc igitur periurium multorum subtiliorem 
fecit gulam, doctaque et erudita palata fastidire 
docuit fluvialem lupum, nisi quern Tiberis adverse 
torrente defatigasset. Itaque Terentius Varro : 
Nullus est, inquit, hoc saeculo nebulo,^ ac minthon,^ 
qui non iam dicat, nihil sua interesse, utrum eiusmodi 

5 piscibus, an ranis frequens habeat vivarium. Ac 
tamen iisdem temporibus, quibus banc memorabat 
Varro luxuriem, maxime laudabatur severitas Catonis, 
qui nihilo minus et ipse tutor Luculli grandi acre 

1 lit edd. : et ac : om. SA . 

* avorum ac : quorum 8 A. 

' luxuriosi scripsi : luxuriose SAa : luxuriosissime c. 

* nebulus ac : nebullus SA. 
5 minthon ac : mintho SA. 

' The Lago di Piedi di Luco in Umbria. 
^ The Lago Bracciano about 35 miles N.W. of Rome. 
« The Lago di Bolseno about 70 miles N.W. of Rome. 
"* The Lago di Vico near Viturbo about 45 miles N.W. of 



they, therefore, not only stocked the fish-ponds which 
they had themselves constructed, but also filled the 
lakes which nature had formed, with fish-spawn 
brought from the sea. Hence the Veline " and 
Sabatine ^ lakes, also the Volsinian " and Ciminian <* 
lakes produced basse and gilt-head, and all the fishes 
to be found anywhere which can live in fresh water. 
Then an age followed which abandoned this method 3 
of keeping fish and the extravagance of the wealthy 
enclosed the vexy seas and Neptune himself, so that 
within the memory of our grandfathers the action 
and speech of Marcius Philippus * M^as on everyone's 
lips as being very witty, whereas it was the action 
and speech of a luxurious man. For once when he 
happened to be dining at a friend's house at Casinum,/ 
and after having tasted a pike from a neighbouring 
river which was set before him had spit it out, he 
followed this opprobrious action with the words : 
" Plague take me if I did not think that it was a 
fish." This oath caused many people to put more 4 
refinement into their gluttony and has taught learned 
and educated palates to loathe the basse unless 
it were one which had been wearied by struggling 
against the current of the Tiber. Therefore Terentius 
Varro says : 9 There is no paltry or foppish fellow in 
these days who does not now declare that he cares not 
whether he has a fish-pond crowded with this sort of 
fish or with frogs. Yet in the very times to which 5 
Varro ascribed this luxury, the austerity of Cato was 
highly commended, who, nevertheless, himself as the 
guardian of Lucullus sold his ward's fish-ponds for the 

* This story is borrowed from Varro, R.R. III. 3. 9. 

/ The modem Monte Cassino in the north of Campagna. 

» Loc. cit. 



sestertium ^ milium quadringentorum piscinas pu- 
pilli sui venditabat. lam enim celebres erant 
deliciae popinales, cum ad mare deferrentur^ vivaria, 
quorum studiosissimi, velut ante devictarum gentium 
Numantinus et Isauricus, ita Sergius Orata, et 
Licinius Muraena captorum piscium laetabantur 

6 Sedquoniam sic mores occalluere, non ut haec usita- 
ta, verum ut maxime laudabilia et honesta iudicaren- 
tur,nos quoque ne videamur tot seculorum seri castiga- 
tores, hunc etiam quaestum villaticum patrisfamilias 
demonstrabimus. Qui sive insulas,^ sive maritimos 
agros mercatus,* propter exilitatem soli, quae plerum- 
que litori vicina est, fructus terrae percipere non 

7 poterit,^ ex mari reditum constituat. Huius autem 
rei quasi primordium est, naturam loci contemplari, 
quo piscinas facere constitueris. Non enim omnibus 
litoribus omne genus piscium haberi potest. Limosa 
regio planum educat piscem, velut soleam, rhombum, 
passerem. Eadem quoque maxime idonea est con- 
chyliis : ^ purpurarum muricibus, turn concharum 

8 ostreis,' pectunculis, balanis, vel sphondylis.^ At 
arenosi gurgites pianos quidem non pessime,^ sed 

^ sestertium Aac : sestertiis S. 

* defertur SA : deferantur ac. 

' insulas ac : in insula S^. '' mercatus a : mercatur 5^. 

* precipere non potuerit ac : percipuerit ut SA. 

* conchiliis ac : conciliis SA. 

' Warmington : muricibus et ostreis, purpurarumque turn 
conchariam prior, edd. 

* pectuncuii, balani vel sphondili codd. 

* pessime a : spessime S : spissime A : prozime c. 

" Scipio Africanus Minor. * P. Servilius Vatia. 

' According to Pliny, IX. § 168, Sergius Orata established 
the first oyster-beds at Baiae near Naples. 


immense sum of 400,000 sesterces. For culinary 
delicacies were already in great demand when fish- 
ponds were made to communicate with the sea and, 
just as at an earlier date Numantinus <* and Isauricus ^ 
rejoiced in names taken from conquered nations, 
so Sergius Orata (goldfish) " and Licinius Muraena 
(lamprey),*^ who made fish-ponds their chief interest, 
rejoiced in the names of the fish they had captured. 

But since men's moral sense has become so blunted 6 
that such behaviour is reckoned not only as customary 
but also as highly laudable and honourable, we too, 
lest we should seem to be only out-of-date critics of 
so many past generations, will show that the fish- 
pond is also a source of profit which the head of a 
household can gain from his country estate. He who 
has bought either islands or land near the sea and is 
unable, owing to the poverty of the soil which is 
generally found near the coast, to gather the fruits 
of the earth, should establish a source of revenue 
from the sea. The first step in this direction is to 7 
examine the nature of the ground where you have 
decided to construct your fish-ponds, for every kind of 
fish cannot be kept on every coast. A muddy stretch 
of shore is the place for rearing flat fish, such as the 
sole, the turbot and the flounder ; « it is also 
very suitable for testaceous animals : of purple- 
producing shell-fish, the true purple fish ; and 
also, of other molluscs, the oyster, small scallops, 
barnacles or sphondyliJ But the sandy whirlpools are 8 
not bad feeding-grounds for flat-fish — better, however, 

** Licinius Muraena according to Pliny [loc. cit. § 170) 
invented fish-ponds for all sorts of fish. 

' Or dab; the identification is doubtful. 

f Apparently another kind of mussel, perhaps spondylus 


pelagios melius pascunt, ut auratas ac dentices, 
Punicasque et indigenas umbras : verum conchyliis 
minus apti. llursus optime saxosum mare nominis 
sui pisces nutrit, qui scilicet, quod in petris stabulen- 
tur, saxatiles dicti sunt, ut merulae turdique, nee mi- 
9 nus melanuri. Atque ut litorum sic et fretorum 
difFerentias nosse oportet, ne nos alienigenae pisces 
decipiant. Non enim omni mari potest omnis esse, 
ut helops, qui Pamphilio prof undo nee alio pascitur: 
ut Atlantico faber, qui et generosissimis piscibus 
adnumeratur, in nostro Gadium municipio eumque 
prisca consuetudine ^ zeum appellamus : ut scarus, 
qui totius Asiae Graeciaeque litoribus Sicilia tenus 
frequentissimus exit, nunquam in Ligusticum, nee 
10 per Gallias enavit ad Hibericum mare. Itaque ne si 
capti quidem perferantur in nostra vivaria, diuturni 
queant possideri. Sola ex pretiosis piscibus muraena, 
quamvis Tartesii Carpathiique pelagi, quod est 
ultimum, vernacula,^ quovis hospes freto peregrinum 
mare sustinet. Sed iam de situ piscinarum dicen- 
dum est. 

XVII. Stagnum censemus eximie optimum, quod 
sic positum est, ut insequens maris unda priorem 
submoveat, nee intra conseptum sinat remanere 
veterem. Namque id simillimum est pelago, quod 
agitatum ventis assidue renovatur, nee concalescere 
potest : quoniam gelidum ab imo fluctum revoMt in 

1 consuetudine Aac : consuetudinem S. 
* vemacuia c : vemaculo SAa. 

" Oblata melanurua. 

'' Off the S. coast of Asia Minor, 

' Between Corsica and the Italian Riviera. 

** I.e. Gallia Cisalpina and Gallia Transalpina. 

* Between Spain and the Balearic Islands. 


BOOK VIII. XVI. 8-xvii. I 

for deep-sea fish such as gilt-head and sea-braize 
^nd the Carthaginian and our own Itahan maigres, 
but they are less suitable for shell-fish. On the other 
hand a rocky sea provides excellent nourishment for 
fishes which bear its name, that is, are called rock- 
fish because they find shelter among the rocks, such 
as merles and wrasse and likewise " black tails." <* 
We must also know the different qualities both of 9 
shores and of seas, lest we be deceived about foreign 
fish ; for every fish cannot exist in every sea, the 
sturgeon for example, which feeds in the depths of 
the Pamphylian Sea '' and nowhere else, and the dory 
in the Atlantic which in our municipality of Gades is 
numbered amongst the noblest of fishes and which 
by an ancient custom we call srew^, and the parrot wrasse 
which is produced in great numbers on the coasts of 
the whole of Asia Minor and Greece as far as Sicily 
but has never swum into the Ligurian " sea nor past 
the Gauls ** into the Iberian Sea ; * therefore, even if 10 
they were captured and conveyed to our fish-ponds, 
they could not long remain in our possession. Alone 
of the valuable fish the lamprey, although a native 
of the Tartessian and the Carpathian Sea, which is 
very far away, in whatever sea it finds itself a guest 
can thrive in strange waters. But the time has 
come to speak of the situation of fish-ponds. 

XVII. We consider that incomparably the best Fish-ponds. 
pond is one which is so situated that the incoming 
tide of the sea expels the water of the previous tide 
and does not allow any stale water to remain within 
the enclosure ; for a pond most resembles the open 
sea if it is stirred by the winds and its waters con- 
stantly renewed and it cannot become warm, because 
it keeps rolling up a wave of cold water from the 



partem superiorem. Id autem stagnum vel excidi- 
tur ^ in petra, cuius rarissima est occasio, vel in litore 

2 construitur opere signino. Sed utcunque fabrica- 
tum est, si semper influente gurgite riget, habere ^ 
debet specus iuxta solum, eorumque alios simplices, 
et rectos, quo secedant squamosi greges, alios in 
cochleam retortos, nee nimis spatiosos, in quibus 
muraenae delitescant ; quamquam nonnullis com- 
misceri eas cum alterius notae piscibus non placet : 
quia si rabie vexantur, quod huic generi velut canino 
solet accidere, saepissime persequuntur squamosos, 

3 plurimosque mandendo consumunt; itineraque, si 
loci natura permittit, omni lateri piscinae dari con- 
venit. Facilius enim vetus submovetur unda, cum 
quacunque parte fluctus urget, per adversam patet 
exitus. Hos autem meatus fieri censemus per imam 
consepti partem, si loci situs ita competit, ut in solo 
piscinae posita libella septem pedibus sublimius esse 
maris aequor ostendat : nam piscibus stagni haec in 
altitudinem gurgitis mensura abunde est. Nee 
dubium, quin quanto magis imo mari venit unda, 
tanto sit frigidior, quod est aptissimum nantibus. 

4 Sin autem locus, ubi vivarium constituere censemus, 
pari libra cum aequore maris est, in pedes novem 
defodiatur piscina, et infra duos a ^ summa parte 
cuniculis rivi perducantur ; curandumque est, ut 

^ exciditur ac : excitur SA. * haberi SAac. 

* a oc : ad SA. 

' Cf. Plautus, Bud. 4. 3. 5. 


bottom to the uppermost part. The pond is either 
hewn in the rock, which only rarely occurs, or built 
of plaster on the shore ; but in whatever way it is 2 
constructed, if it is kept cold by the swirl of water 
which is constantly flowing in, it ought to contain 
recesses near the bottom, some of them simple and 
straight to which the " scaly flocks " " niay retire, 
others twisted into a spiral and not too wide, in 
which the lampreys may lurk. Some people, however, 
hold that lampreys should not be mixed with fishes 
of another kind, because, if they are seized with 
madness, which sometimes happens to this sort of fish 
just as it happens to dogs, they very often pursue 
their scaly companions and chew them up and devour 
great numbers of them. If the nature of the ground 3 
permits, channels should be provided for the water 
on every side of the fish-pond ; for the old water is 
more easily carried away if there is an outlet on the 
side opposite to that from which the wave forces its 
way in. We are of opinion that these passages, if 
the lie of the ground is suitable, should be made 
along the lowest part of the enclosure, so that a 
plummet placed on the bottom of the pond may 
show that the level of the sea is seven feet higher ; 
for this measurement in the depth of the water is 
fully enough for the fish in the pond, and there is no 
doubt that, the greater the depth of the sea from 
which the water comes, the colder it is, and this suits 
the swimming fishes very well. But if the place 4 
where we think of constructing the fish-pond is on 
a level with the surface of the sea, the pond should be 
excavated to the depth of nine feet, and two feet 
below the top streams of water should be conducted 
along small channels, and care must be taken that 



largissime veniant, quoniam modus ille aquae iacentis 
infra libram maris non aliter exprimitur, quam si 

5 maior recentis freti vis incesserit. Multi putant in 
eiusmodi stagnis longos ^ piscibus recessus et flexu- 
osos in lateribus specus esse fabricandos, quo sint 
opaciores aestuantibus latebrae. Sed si recens mare 
non semper stagnum permeat, id facere contrarium 
est. Nam eiusmodi receptacula nee facile novas 
admittunt aquas, et difficulter veteres emittunt : 
plusque nocet putris unda, quam prodest opacitas. 

6 Debent tamen similes velut cellae parietibus ex- 
cavari, ut sint, quae protegant refugientes ardorem 
solis, et nihilominus facile, quam conceperint aquam, 
remittant. Verum meminisse oportebit, ut rivis, per 
quos exundat piscina, praefigantur ^ aenei foramini- 
bus exiguis cancelli, quibus impediatur fuga piscium. 
Si vero laxitas permittit, e litore scopulos, qui prae- 
cipue verbenis ^ algae vestiuntur, non erit alienum 
per stagni spatia disponere, et quantum comminisci 
valet hominis ingenium, repraesentare faciem maris, 

7 ut clausi quam minime custodiam sentiant. Hac 
ratione stabulis ordinatis aquatile pecus inducemus ; 
sitque nobis antiquissimum meminisse etiam in 
fluviatili negotio, quod in terreno praecipitur : Et 

1 longos ac : longis SA. 

* praeficantur <S : praeficentur A : prefingetur a : prae- 
figentur c. 

^ verbenis algae ac : velvenis algae S : velvenis ac leve 

" It is doubtful whether verbenis can bear the meaning of 
" vegetation " in general and the reading is perhaps wrong. 



the flow is very abundant, since the quantity of 
water which hes below the level of the sea is only 
forced out by the greater violence of the fresh sea 
water rushing in. Many people think that in the 5 
sides of ponds of this kind deep recesses and winding 
caves should be constructed for the fishes, so that 
there may be shadier places of retreat for them when 
they feel the heat. But if a change of sea water is 
not continually passing through the pond, the result 
is to cause a contrary condition, for lurking-places of 
this kind do not easily admit a change of water and 
only with difficulty get rid of the stale water, and 
more harm results from the putrid water than bene- 
fit from the shade. There ought, however, to be 6 
excavated in the sides of the pond what may be de- 
scribed as a series of similar cells which may serve to 
protect the fish when they want to avoid the heat of 
the sun and yet at the same time let the water, which 
they have received, easily flow out again. It will be 
well to remember that gratings made of brass with 
small holes should be fixed in front of the channels 
through which the fish-pond pours out its waters, to 
prevent the fish from escaping. If space allows, it 
will not be amiss to place in various parts of the pond 
rocks from the sea-shore, especially those which are 
covered with bunches of sea-weed * and, as far as the 
wit of man can contrive, to represent the appearance 
of the sea, so that, though they are prisoners, the fish 
may feel their captivity as little as possible. 

Having arranged " stalls " for them on this 7 
principle, we shall introduce our " water flock " into 
it, and it should be our prime concern to recall also in 
our dealings with rivers the advice given for our 
business with dry land : " And consider well what every 



quid quaeque ferat regio.^ Neque enim si velimus, 
ut in mari non nunquam conspeximus, in vivario 
multitudinem mullorum ^ pascere queamus, cum sit 
moUissimum genus, et servitutis indignantissimum. 

8 Raro itaque unus aut alter de multis milibus claustra 
patitur : at contra frequenter animadvertimus intra 
septa pelagios greges, inertis mugilis et rapacis lupi. 
Quare, ut proposueram, qualitatem litoris nostri 
contemplemur ; et si videmus scopulosam, probemus. 
Turdi complura genera, merulasque et avidas mus- 
telas, turn etiam sine macula (nam sunt et varii) 
lupos includemus, item plautas,^ quae maxime pro- 
bantur, muraenas, et si quae sunt aliae saxatilis 
notae, quarum pretia vigent. Nam vile ne captare 
quidem, nedum alere conducit. Possunt ista eadem 

9 genera etiam litoris arenosi stagnis contineri. Nam 
quae limo caenoque lita sunt,^ ut ante iam dixi, con- 
chy liis magis et iacentibus apta sunt animalibus. 
Neque est eadem lacus positio, quae recipit cubantes : 
neque ^ eadem praebentur cibaria prostratis piscibus 
et rectis.* Namque soleis ac rhombis et similibus 
animalibus humilis in duos pedes piscina deprimitur 
in ea parte litoris, quae profundi recessu ' nunquam 

10 destituitur. Spissi deinde clatri marginibus in- 
figuntur, qui super aquam semper emineant, etiam 
cum maris aestus intumuerit. Mox praeiaciuntur in 
gyrum moles, ita ut complectantur sinu suo, et tamen 
excedant stagni modum. Sic enim et maris atrocitas 

1 post regio add. SA : oportet si quis in eo. 

* mnlorum coM. 

* plautas SA (= Greek TrAcora?) : flutas ac. 

* lita sunt S : litescunt Aac. ^ atque SAac. 

* rectis iSA : erectis ac. 

' profundo recessu c : frondi recensu A : frondi recessu 
S : frondi recente a. 



place will bear." For we cannot, if we should wish 
to do so, feed in a fish-pond a multitude of red mullet, 
such as we have very often seen in the sea, since it 
is a very delicate kind of fish and most intolerant of 
captivity, and so only one or two out of many 8 
thousands can on rare occasions endure confinement, 
while, on the contrary, we frequently notice in closed 
watei-s shoals of those deep-sea fish : the sluggish 
grey mullet and the greedy basse. Therefore, as I 
have already suggested, let us consider the quality 
of our sea-shore and, if we find it rocky, let us be 
content with it. We shall imprison in our ponds 
several kinds of wrasse and sea-merles and greedy 
sea-weasels and also basse which have no spots 
(for there is also a mottled kind), also floating 
lampreys, which are much esteemed, and any other 
lampreys of the rock-dwelling kind which command 
a high price ; for it does not pay to catch, much less 
to keep, anything which is cheap. These same kinds 9 
of fish can also be kept in ponds on a sandy shore ; 
for shores which are covered with slime and mud are, 
as I have already said, better suited to shell-fish and 
animals which lie at the bottom. A different position 
too is required for ponds which harbour those fish 
which lie down, nor is the same food provided for 
prostrate as for upright fish. For soles and turbots 
and similar creatures a shallow pond is sunk two feet 
in that part of the shore which is never left high and 
dry by ebbing of deep water. Next close barriers 10 
are fixed along the edges of the pond, so that they 
always stand out of the water even when the tide of 
the sea is at its highest; then dams are thrown up 
all round so as to encompass the pond in their embrace 
and at the same time to rise above its level. For in 



obiectu crepidinis frangitur, et in tranquillo con- 
sistens piscis sedibus suis non exturbatur, neque 
ipsum vivarium repletur algarum congerie, quam 

11 tempestatibus eructat pelagi violentia. Oportebit 
autem nonnullis locis moles intercidi more Maeandri 
parvis sed angustis itineribus, quae quantalibet 
hiemis saevitia mare sine fluctu transmittant. 

Esca iacentium mollior esse debet, quam saxatilium, 
nam quia dentibus carent, aut lambunt cibos, aut 
integros hauriunt, mandere quidem non possunt. 

12 Itaque praeberi convenit tabentes aleculas,^ et 
salibus exesam chalcidem, putremque sardinam, nee 
minus scarorum ^ branchias, vel quicquid intestini 
pelamis ^ aut lacertus gerit : turn scombri, carchari- 
que et elacata * venti'iculos ^ et ne per singula 
enumerem, salsamentorum omnium purgamenta, 
quae cetariorum ^ officinis everruntur, Nos autem 
plura nominavimus genera, non quia cuncta cunctis 
litoribus exeunt, sed ut ex his aliqua, quorum erit 

13 facultas, praebeamus. Facit etiam ex pomis viridis 
adaperta ficus ; et mitis digitis infractus unedo ; nee 
minus elisum molle sorbum, quique sunt cibi sorbilibus 
proximi, ut e mulctra recens caseus, si loci conditio 
vel lactis annona permittit. Nulla tamen aeque,' 
quam praedictae salsurae pabula commode dantur, 

^ halleculas ac : halleculam SA. 
^ scaurorum ac : aurorum SA. 

* pelamis o : pelanus c : palemis SA. 

* elacatae edd. : lacte a : lapte SAc. 

* venterculos SAac. 

* ceterarum SA : ceterum ac. 
' aeque ac : quae 8 A. 



this way the violence of the sea is broken by the 
ban-iers of a bank, and the fish, keeping in calm water, 
are not driven out of their usual haunts nor is the 
pond itself filled with a collection of sea-weed which 
the force of the sea throws up in stormy weather. ' It 11 
will, however, be necessary that cuts should be made 
in the moles at some points, forming small but narrow 
passages with meandering course, so that, however 
fierce a winter storm is raving, they may let the 
sea-water pass in without creating a wave. 

The diet of flat fish ought to be softer than that of Diet for fish 
rock-fish, for, lacking teeth, they either lick up their 
food or swallow it whole, being unable to chew it. 
It is, therefore, fitting that decaying pilchards or 12 
over-salted herrings or rotten sardines, also the gills of 
parrot WTasse and any part of the intestines of a 
young tunny or lizard-fish, also the entrails of a mack- 
erel, a dog-fish or a spindle-fish," and, not to go into 
further details, the refuse of any salted fish which is 
swept out of fishmongers' shops. We have named 
several kinds, not because they are all produced on 
every coast, but in order to mention some of those 
which it will be possible to provide. Of fruits too the 13 
green fig cut open is suitable and a ripe arbutus-berry 
crushed by the fingers, likewise a soft sorb-apple 
squeezed out and any foods which most closely 
resemble things which can be easily swallowed, such 
as curds fresh from the milk-pail, if local conditions 
and the cheap price of milk make this possible. No 
food, however, is so suitable for giving them as the 
diet of salt fish already mentioned, since it has a 

" The readings of the MSS. give no sense here, but the na me 
of a fish is clearly intended and elacatae is suggested by the 
reading of a. Warmington suggests elacatenis {■qXaKaTijvos). 


14 quoniam odorata sunt. Omnis enim iacens piscis 
magis naribus escam, quam oculis vestigat. Nam 
dum supinus semper cubat, sublimiora ^ aspectat, et 
ea quae in piano sunt dextra laevaque non facile 
pervidet. Itaque cum salsamenta obiecta sunt, 
eorum sequens odorem, pervenit ad cibos. 

Ceteri autem saxatiles aut pelagici ^ satis ex his, 
sed recentibus melius pascuntur. Nam et alecula 
modo capta, et cammarus exiguusque gobio, quisquis 
denique est incrementi minuti piscis, maiorem alit. 

15 Siquando tamen hiemis saevitia non patitur eius 
generis escam dari, vel sordidi panis ofFae, vel siqua 
sunt temporis poma concisa praebentur. Ficus 
quidem arida semper obicitur, eximie si sit, ut 
Baeticae Numidiaeque regionibus, larga. Ceterum 
illud committi non debet, quod multi faciunt, ut 
nihil praebeant, quia semetipsos etiam clausi diu 
tolerare possint. Nam nisi piscis domini cibariis 
saginatur, cum ad piscatorium ^ forum perlatus est, 
macies indicat eum non esse libero mari captum, sed 
de custodia elatum, propter quod plui'imum pretio 

16 Atque haec villatica pastio finem praesenti dispu- 
tationi * faciat, ne immodico volumine lector ^ 
fatigetur. Redibimus autem sequenti exordio ad 
curam silvestrium pecorum, cultumque apium. 

^ sublimiora S : sublimior A : sublimius a : sublimus c. 

^ pelasci SA^ : pelasgi A^ : pelagici ac. 

* piscatorium edd. : piscatoris SAac. 

* disputationi ac : disputationis SA. 
® lector S^ac : dolector S^A. 



strong odour ; for every flat fish tracks down its food 14 
rather by scent than by sight. For lying constantly 
on its back it looks towards what is above it and does 
not easily see things which are on a level with itself 
on the right or left. When, therefore, salted fish is 
put in its way, it follows the scent of it and so reaches 
its food. 

The other kinds of fish, namely those which live 
among the rocks and in the open sea, can quite well 
be fed on this diet, but still better on fresh food. For 
a newly caught pilchard, crayfish or small goby, 
in a word any fish of minute growth serves as food 
for a larger fish. If, however, the violence of the 15 
winter does not allow this kind of food to be given, 
bits of coarse bread or any fruits that are in season 
are cut up and given. Dried figs indeed are always 
offered to them, an excellent thing to do if they are 
abundant as they are in the regions of Baetica and 
Numidia. But the mistake ought not to be made, 
which many people make, of providing no food at all 
on the ground that the fish can maintain themselves 
for a long time even when they are shut up ; for 
unless a fish is fattened with food provided by its 
owner, when it is brought to the fish-market, its 
leanness shows that it has not been caught in the 
open sea but brought out of a place of confinement, 
and on this account a large sum is knocked off the 

Let this account of the method of feeding fish on 16 
the farm-estate bring our present discourse to a close, 
lest the reader be wearied with the immoderate 
length of this volume. In the next book we will 
return to the management of wild stock and the 
culture of bees. 


VOL. II. p 




Venio nunc ad tutelam pecudum silvestrium et ^ 
apium educationem : quas et ipsas, Publi Silvine, 
villaticas pastiones iure dixerim ; siquidem mos 
antiquus lepusculis capreisque, ac subus feris iuxta 
villam plerumque subiecta dominicis habitationibus 
ponebat vivaria, ut et conspectu suo clausa ^ venatio 
possidentis oblectaret oculos, et cum exegisset usus 
epularum, velut e cella promeretur. Apibus quo- 
que dabatur ^ sedes adhuc nostra memoria vel in 
ipsis villae parietibus excisis, vel in protectis portici- 
bus ac pomariis. Quare quoniam tituli, quern prae- 
scripsimus huic disputationi, ratio reddita est, ea 
nunc quae proposuimus singula persequamur. 

I. Ferae pecudes, ut capreoli, damaeque, nee 
minus orygum cervorumque genera et aprorum, 
modo lautitiis ac voluptatibus dominorum serviunt, 
modo quaestui ac reditibus. Sed qui venationem 
voluptati suae claudunt, content! sunt, utcunque 
competit proximus aedificio loci situs, munire viva- 

^ post silvestrium om. et SA. 

" suo clausa ac : sui clausa A : sui classa 8. 

^ dabantur SAac. 




I now come to the care of wild cattle and the Preface. 
rearing of bees, which also, Publius Silvinus, I can 
j ustly place among creatures which are fed on the farm, 
since ancient custom placed parks for young hares, 
wild goats and wild boars near the farm, generally 
within the view of the owner's dwelling-place, so that 
the sight of their being hunted within an inclosure 
might delight the eyes of the proprietor and that 
when the custom of giving feasts called for game, it 
might be produced as it were out of store. Also 
within our own memory accommodation for bees was 
provided either in holes cut in the actual walls of the 
farm-building or in sheltered galleries and orchards. 
So, since we have assigned a reason for the title 
which we have prefixed to this discourse, let us now 
proceed to deal, one by one, with the topics which we 
have proposed. 

I. Wild creatures, such as roebucks, chamois and wild 
also various kinds of antelopes, deer and wild boars creatures. 
sometimes serve to enhance the splendour and 
pleasure of their owners, and sometimes to bring 
profit and revenue. Those who keep game shut up 
for their own pleasure are content to construct a 
park, on any suitable site in the neighbourhood of 



riuni, semperque de manu cibos et aquam praebere : 
qui vero quaestum reditumque desiderant, cum est 
vicinum villae nemus (id enim refert non procul esse 
ab oeulis domini) sine cunctatione praedictis animali- 

2 bus destinant.^ Et si naturalis defuit aqua, vel in- 
ducitur 2 fluens, vel infossi lacus signino consternun- 
tur, qui receptam pluviatilem contineant.^ 

Modus silvae pro cuiusque * facultatibus occupatur ; 
ac si lapidis et operae vilitas suadeat, haud dubie ^ 
caementis et calce formatus circumdatur murus : sin 

3 aliter, crudo latere ^ ac lute constructus. Ubi vero 
neutrum patrifamiliae conducit, ratio postulat 
vacerris includi : sic enim appellatur genus clatrorum : 
idque fabricatur ex robore querceo, vel subereo. 
Nam oleae rara est occasio. Quidquid denique sub 
iniuria pluviarum magis diuturnum est, pro condi- 
tione regionis ad hunc usum eligitur. Et sive teres ' 
arboris truncus, sive ut crassitudo postulavit, fissilis 
stipes compluribus locis per latus efforatur, et in 
circuitu vivarii certis intervenientibus spatiis de- 
fixus erigitur : deinde per transversa laterum cava ' 
transmittuntur ramices, qui exitus ferarum obserent. 

4 Satis est autem vacerras inter pedes octonos defigere, 
serisque transversis ita clatrare, ne spatiorum laxitas, 
quae foraminibus intervenit, pecudi praebeat fugam. 
Hoc autem modo licet etiam latissimas regiones 
tractusque montium claudere, sicuti Galliarum nec- 

^ destinatur SAac. 

* si naturalis — inducitur om. S. 
' contineant c : contineat SAa. 

* pro cuiusque ac : ut pro cuius S : ut pro cuiusque A, 

* haud dubie c : id haud dubie a : ita ut dubiis jS^. 

* crudo latere c : crudo lateri SA : crudeliter a. 
'' teres Gesner : teris SA : veteris ac. 

* cuca SA : cavoa ac. 


BOOK IX. I. 1-4 

the farm buildings, and always give them food and 
water by hand. Those on the other hand who look 
for profit and revenue, when there is a wood near 
the farm (for it is important that it should not be far 
out of sight of the owner), reserve it without hesita- 
tion for the above-mentioned animals, and if there 2 
is no natural supply of water, either running-water 
is introduced or else ponds are dug and lined with 
mortar to receive and hold the rain-water. 

The extent of wood involved is in proportion to the 
size of each man's property and, if the cheapness of 
stone and labour make it advisable, certainly a wall 
built with unhewn stone and lime is put round it ; 
otherwise it is made with unburnt brick and clay. 
When neither of these methods serves the purpose 3 
of the master of the house, reason requires that they 
should be shut up with a post fence ; for this is the 
name given to a certain kind of lattice made of oak 
or cork-wood, since olive-wood is only rarely obtain- 
able ; in a word, according to local conditions, any 
kind of wood is chosen for this purpose which resists 
injury from rain better than any other. Whether it 
be the round trunk of a tree or cleft into stakes, as its 
thickness demands, it has several holes bored through 
its side and is erected firmly in the ground at fixed 
intervals all round the park ; then bars are put across 
through the holes in the sides of the posts to prevent 
the passage of the wild beasts. It is enough to fix 4 
the posts at intervals of eight feet and to fasten them 
to the cross-bars in such a way that the width of 
space which occurs where holes are left may not offer 
the animals a means of escape. In this manner you 
can even enclose very wide regions and tracts of 
mountains, as the vast extent of ground permits in 



non et in aliis quibusdam provinciis locorum vastitas 
patitur. Nam et fabricandis ingens est vacerris 
materiae ^ copia, et cetera in banc rem feliciter 
suppetunt ; quippe crebris fontibus abundat solum, 

5 quod est maxime praedictis generibus salutare : turn 
etiam sua sponte pabula feris benignissime sub- 
ministrat ^ praecipueque saltus eliguntur, qui et 
terrenis fetibus et arboribus abundant. Nam ut 
graminibus ita frugibus roburneis opus est ^ : maxime- 
que laudantur, qui sunt feracissimi querneae glandis 
et iligneae, nee minus cerrea,* tum ^ et arbuti, 
ceterorumque pomorum silvestrium, quae diligen- 
tius persecuti sumus, cum de cohortalibus subus 
disputaremus. Nam eadem fere sunt pecudum 

6 silvestrium pabula, quae domesticarum. Contentus 
tamen non debet esse diligens paterfamilias cibis, 
quos suapte natura terra gignit, sed temporibus anni, 
quibus silvae pabulis carent, condita messe clausis 
succurrere, hordeoque alere, vel adoreo farre aut 
faba, primumque ® etiam vinaceis, quicquid denique 
vilissime constiterit, dare. Idque ut ' intelligant 
ferae praeberi, unam vel alteram domi mansue- 
factam conveniet immittere, quae pervagata totum 
vivarium cunctantes ad obiecta cibaria pecudes 

7 perducat. Nee solum istud per hiemis penuriam 

^ vacerris materie c : materiae vacerriis 8A : variis materie a. 

* subministrat a : -ant SAc. 

^ opus est SA : opus habet c : robor est a. 

* acerreae SAa : ceree c. 

* cum SAac. 

* primumque SAa : plurimumque c. 
' idque un c : ut SA : itaque ut a. 

» Book VII. Chapter 9. § 6 ff. 

BOOK IX. I. 4-7 

the provinces of Gaul and in certain others ; for there 
is both a great abundance of timber for making posts 
and everything else which is needed for the purpose 
is in abundant supply. The soil abounds in frequent 5 
springs, which is particularly wholesome for the 
above-named kinds of animals ; then too it furnishes 
wild creatures with fodder most liberally even of its own 
accord. Woodlands are chiefly chosen which abound 
in the fruits of the ground and also in trees ; for as 
these creatures have need of grass, so too they re- 
quire the fruits of oak-trees, and those woods are most 
highly commended which are most productive of the 
acorn of the ordinary oak and of the evergreen oak 
and likewise of the Turkey-oak, also of the fruit of the 
strawberry-tree and the other wild fruits which we 
described in great detail when we were discussing 
farm-yard pigs.* For the fodder of wild cattle is 
almost the same as that of domestic animals. 

Nevertheless the careful head of a household ought 6 
not to be content with the foods which the earth 
produces by its own nature, but, at the seasons of the 
year when the woods do not provide food, he ought 
to come to the help of the animals which he has con- 
fined with the fruits of the harvest which he has 
stored up, and feed them on barley or wheat-meal or 
beans, and especially, too, on grape-husks ; in a 
word, he should give them whatever costs the least. 
Also in order that the wild creatures may understand 
that provision is being made for them, it will be a 
good plan to send among them one or two animals 
which have been tamed at home, and which, roaming 
through the whole park, may direct the hesitating 
creatures to the fare offered to them. It is advisable 7 
that this should be done not only during the scarce 



fieri expedit, sed cum etiam fetae partus ediderint, 
quo melius educant ^ natos. Itaque custos vivarii 
frequenter speculari debebit, si iam elFetae sint, ut 
manu datis sustineantur frumentis. Nee vero pati- 
endus est oryx, aut aper, aliusve quis ferus ultra 
quadrimatum senescere. Nam usque in hoc tempus 
capiunt incrementa, postea macescunt senectute. 
Quare dum viridis aetas pulchritudinem corporis 

8 conservat, acre mutandi ^ sunt. Cervus tamen com- 
pluribus annis sustineri potest. Nam diu iuvenis 
possidetur, quod aevi longioris vitam sortitus est. 
De minoris autem incrementi ^ animalibus, qualis est 
lepus, haec praecipimus,* ut in iis vivariis, quae 
maceria munita sunt, farraginis et olerum, ferae 
intubi lactucaeque semina parvulis areolis per diversa 
spatia factis iniciantur. Itemque Punicum cicer, vel 
hoc vernaculum,^ nee minus hordeum, et cicercula 
condita ex horreo promantur, et aqua caelesti 
macerata obiciantur. Nam sicca non nimis ab lepus- 

9 culis appetuntur. Haec porro animalia vel similia 
his, etiam silente me, facile intelligitur, quam non 
expediat conferre in vivarium, quod vacerris cir- 
cumdatum est : siquidem propter exiguitatem 
corporis facile clatris subrepunt, et liberos nactae * 
egressus fugam moliuntur. 

II. Venio nunc ad alvorum curam, de quibus 
neque diligentius quidquam praecipi potest, quam ab 

^ educant SA : -ent ac. 

2 acre mutandi ac : remutandi A : remuttendi S. 

' incrementis SAac. 

* praecipiemus SAac. 

* vernaculo SAac. 

* nacte Aac : nancte 8. 

o See Book I. 1. 13 and note. 


BOOK IX. I. 7-II. I 

season of winter but also when those which were with 
young have brought them forth, so that they may 
rear them better. And so the park-keeper will have 
frequently to be on the watch and see if they have 
borne their young, in order that their strength may 
be sustained by cereals given them by hand. But 
neither the antelope nor the wild boar nor any other 
wild creature should be allowed to live to a greater 
age than four years. For up to that time they 
advance in growth, after it they grow old and lean ; 
and so they should be turned into cash while a 
vigorous time of life preserves their bodily comeli- 
ness. The deer, however, may be kept for many 8 
years, for it long remains young in your possession, 
because it has been allotted a life of longer duration. 
But as regards animals of lesser growth, such as the 
hare, our advice is that, in those parks surrounded by a 
wall, the seeds of mixed cereals and of the pot-herbs, 
wild endive and lettuce, should be thrown upon small 
beds of earth made at different intervals apart. Also 
the Carthaginian and our own native chick-pea, and 
barley too and chickling should be produced out of 
store and put before them after having been soaked 
in rain-water ; for dry food is not much sought after 
by hares. Moreover, it is easily understood even 9 
without my mentioning it, concerning these animals 
and others like them, how inexpedient it is to intro- 
duce them into a park which is surrounded by railings, 
since owing to the small size of their bodies they can 
easily creep under the bars and, having obtained free 
exit, manage to escape. 

II. I come now to the management of bee-hives. Bees. 
about which no instructions can be given with 
greater care than in the words of Hyginus,'' more 



Hygino iam dictum est, nee ornatius quam Vergilio, 
nee elegantius quam Celso. Hyginus veterum 
auctorum placita ^ secretis dispersa monimentis 
Industrie collegit : Vergilius poetieis floribus illu- 
minavit : Celsus utriusque memorati adhibuit mo- 

2 dum. Quare ne attemptanda quidem nobis fuit 
haec disputationis materia, nisi quod consummatio 
susceptae professionis banc quoque sui partem de- 
siderabat, ne universitas inchoati operis nostri, velut 
membro aliquo reciso, mutila ^ atque imperfecta ^ 
conspiceretur. Atque ea, quae Hyginus fabulose 
tradita de originibus apum non intermisit, poeticae 
magis licentiae quam nostrae fidei concesserim. 

3 Nee sane rustico dignum est sciscitari, fuerit ne 
mulier pulcherrima specie Melissa,* quam luppiter in 
apem convertit, an (ut Euhemerus poeta dicit) 
crabronibus et sole genitas apes, quas nymphae 
Phryxonides educaverunt, mox Dictaeo specu lovis ^ 
extitisse nutrices, easque pabula munere dei sortitas 
quibus ipsae parvum ^ educaverant alumnum. Ista 
enim, quamvis non dedeceant poetam, summatim 
tamen et uno tantummodo versiculo leviter attigit 
Vergilius, cum sic ait : 

Dictaeo caeli regem pavere sub antro. 

^ placita ac : plagita SA . 

^ mutila SA : mutilata ac. 

^ imperfecta ac : in infectu SA. 

* mellisam SA : mellissa a : melisa (?) c. 
^ iovis ac : io quis SA. 

* ipse parvum ac : ipsa et arvom SA. 

' See Book I. 1. 14 and note. 


BOOK IX. II. 1-3 

ornately than by Vergil, or more elegantly than by 
Celsus.* Hyginus has industriously collected the 
opinions of ancient authors dispersed in their 
different writings ; Vergil has embellished the subject 
with the flowers of poetry ; and Celsus has applied 
the method of both the above-mentioned authors. 2 
Therefore, we ought never to have even attempted to 
discourse on this subject, did not the fulfilment of 
the promise which we made call for the treatment of 
this part of our subject also, lest the body of the 
work begun, looked at as a whole, should appear 
mutilated and imperfect, as if a limb had been cut off. 
The tradition of the fabulous origin of the bees which 
Hyginus has not passed over I would rather attribute 
to poetic licence than submit to the test of our belief; 
nor indeed is it a fit question for a husbandman to 3 
ask whether there ever existed a woman of surpassing 
beauty called Melissa, whom Jupiter changed into a 
bee, or whether (as Euhemerus ^ the poet says) the 
bees were bred from hornets and the sun, and that the 
nymphs, the daughters of Phryxon,'' reared them, 
and that soon after they became the nurses of Jupiter 
in the Dictaean Cave <^ and that, by the gift of the 
god, they had allotted to them the food with which 
they themselves had reared their little foster-child. 
Upon this story, though not unworthy of a poet, 
Vergil touched briefly and lightly in a single line when 
he said : 

'Neath Dicte's cave they fed the king of heaven.^ 

^ A Greek writer who flourished about 300 B.C. and wrote 
a work Hiera Anagraphe, which rationalized mythology and 
which was translated into Latin by Ennius. 

' This name is not otherwise mentioned in Latin literature. 

<* In Crete. « Georg. IV. 152. Dicta is Mount Sethia in Crete. 



4 Sed ne illud quidem pertinet ad agricolas, quando 
et in qua regione primum natae sint : utrum in 
Thessalia sub Aristaeo, an in insula Cea, ut scribit 
Euhemerus, an Erechthei temporibus in monte 
Hymetto, ut Euthronius ; an Cretae Saturni tempori- 
bus, ut Nicander : non magis quam utrum examina, 
tanquam cetera videmus animalia, concubitu subo- 
lem procreent, an heredem generis sui floribus 
eligant, quod affirmat noster Maro : et utrum evo- 

5 mant liquorem mellis, an alia parte reddant. Haec 
enim et his similia magis scrutantium rerum naturae 
latebras, quam rusticorum est inquirere. Studiosis 
quoque literarum gratiora sunt ista in otio legentibus, 
quam negotiosis agricolis : quoniam neque in opere 
neque in re familiari quidquam iuvant. 

III. Quare revertamur ad ea, quae alveorum cul- 
toribus magis apta sunt quot ^ genera sunt apium et 
quid 2 ex his optimum.^ Peripateticae sectae con- 
ditor Aristoteles in iis libris, quos de animalibus 
conscripsit, apium * examinum genera complura 
demonstrat, earumque alias ^ vastas sed glomerosas, 

1 quot SA'^ : quod AK 

^ quid serif si : quod A : quot S. 

* quot — optimum om. ac. 

* apium sive c : om. SAa. 
^ aliaque SAac. 

" Son of Apollo and Cyrene, also said to have planted the 
first olive-tree. 

* Cea, or in Greek Ceos, an island, one of the Cyclades, 
near Cape Sunium. 

" A mountain in Attica near Athens. 

"* Mythical king of Athens. 



But it does not even concern husbandmen when and 4 
in what country bees first came into existence, whether 
in Thessaly under Aristaeus," or in the island of 
Cea,** as Euhemerus writes, or on Mount Hymettus " 
in the time of Erechtheus,'^ as Euthronius « says, or 
in Crete in the time of Saturn, as Nicander / says. 
All this no more concerns farmers than the question 
whether the swarms of bees produce their offspring, 
as we see the other animals do, by copulation, or 
whether they pick up the heir of their race from the 
flowers, as our own poet Maro ^ affirms, and whether 
they vomit the liquid honey from their mouths or 
yield it from some other part. The inquiry into these 5 
and similar questions concerns those who search into 
the hidden secrets of nature rather than husband- 
men. They are subjects more agreeable to the 
students of literature, who can read at their leisure, 
than to farmers who are busy folk, seeing that they 
are of no assistance to them in their work or in the 
increase of their substance. 

III. Therefore let us return to topics which are The differ- 
more suitable to those who have charge of bee-hives, ^ees an/ ° 
namely, how many kinds of bees there are and 7"^^^ 's 
which of them is the best. Aristotle, the founder of 
the Peripatetic School, in the books which he wrote 
about animals,* shows that there are several kinds 

' This name is not otherwise mentioned in Latin literature. 
We should perhaps read Euphonius ; two agricultural writers 
of this name are mentioned by Varro (I. 1. 8), one of Athens 
and the other of Amphipolis. 

■^ Physician, poet and grammarian of Colophon in Asia 
Minor; he flourished about 150 B.C. His Theriaca and 
Alexipharmaca have survived. 

" Vergil, Georg. IV. 197 ff. 

* Hist. anim. V. 22 (553". 22 S.). 



easdemque nigras et hirsutas apes habent : alias ^ 
minores quidem, sed aeque ^ rotundas et fusci ^ coloris 

2 horridique pili : alias * magis exiguas, nee tarn 
rotundas, sed obesas tamen et latas, coloris melius- 
culi : nonnullas ^ minimas gracilesque, et acuti alvi, 
ex aureolo varias atque leves : eiusque ^ auctoritatem 
sequens Vergilius, maxim e probat parvulas, oblongas, 
leves, nitidas, 

Ardentes auro, et paribus lita corpora guttis, 

moribus etiam placidis. Nam quanto grandior 

3 apis, atque etiam rotundior, tanto peior. Si vero 
saevior, maxime pessima est. Sed tamen iracundia 
notae melioris apium facile delenitur ' assiduo inter- 
ventu eorum qui curant,^ Nam cum saepius tractan- 
tur,^ celerius mansuescunt, durantque si diligenter 
excultae sunt, in annos decern ; nee uUum examen 
banc ^^ aetatem potest excedere, quamvis in demor- 
tuarum locum quotannis pullos substituant. Nam 
fere decimo ad internecionem anno gens universa 

4 totius alvei consumitur. Itaque ne hoc in toto fiat 
apiario, semper propaganda erit soboles, obser- 
vandumque vere cum se nova profundent examina, 
ut excipiantur, et domiciliorum numerus augeatur. 
Nam saepe morbis intercipiuntur, quibus quemad- 
modum mederi oportet, suo loco dicetur. 

^ alias Aac : alia S. 
" aeque ac : neque 8 A. 

* fusci SA : infusci ac. 

* alia SA : alas a : alias c. 

* nonnullas ac : nonnulla SA. 

* eiusque ac : eius SA. 

' delenitur serif si : delinitur ac : denitur 8 A. 

* curant ac : currant AS. 

* tractantur ac : tractatur SA. 
^^ hanc Aac : hac 8. 

BOOK IX. in. 1-4 

of swarms of bees, some of them having bees huge and 
globular in shape and at the same time black and 
hairy ; others smaller but equally round and of a 2 
dusky colour and with bristling hairs; others still 
smaller but not so round, but nevertheless fat and 
broad and of rather a better colour ; some very small 
and slender with bellies which end in a point, striped 
of a golden colour and quite smooth. Vergil, 
following Aristotle as his authority, approves most of 
bees which are very small, oblong, smooth and shining, 

Burning with gold, their bodies stained with spots 
of equal size," 

calm, too, in disposition ; for the larger and rounder a 
bee is, the worse it is, and if it is unusually fierce, it is 3 
by far the worst kind of all. However, the irascibility 
of the better kind of bees is easily soothed by the 
frequent intervention of those who look after them ; 
for when they are often handled, they quickly become 
tame. If they are carefully looked after, they live 
for ten years ; but no swarm can exceed this age, 
even if young stock is substituted yearly in place of 
those which have died ; for usually in the tenth year 
all the population of the whole hive is destroyed and 
exterminated. In order, therefore, that this may 4 
not be the fate of the whole apiary, fresh stock must 
be continually propagated and care must be taken in 
the spring, when the fresh s-v^'^rms issue forth, that 
they are intercepted and the number of dwelling- 
places increased; for bees are often overtaken by 
diseases. The methods by which these ought to be 
cured will be dealt with in their proper places. 

- Georg. IV. 99. 



IV. Interim per has notas, quas iam diximus, 
probatis apibus destinari debent pabulationes, eaeque 
sint seeretissimae, at ut ^ noster praecipit Maro, 
viduae ^ pecudibus, aprico et minime procelloso caeli 
statu : 

Quo neque sit ventis aditus ; nam pabula venti 
Ferre domum prohibent : neque oves haedique 

Floribus insultent, aut errans bucula campo 
Decutiat rorem, et surgentes atterat herbas. 

2 Eademque regio fecunda sit fruticis exigui, et 
maxime thymi aut origani, tum etiam thymbrae, vel 
nostratis cunilae, quam satureiam ^ rustici vocant. 
Post haec frequens sit incrementi maioris surculus, 
ut rosmarinus,'* et utraque cytisus. Est enim sativa 
et altera suae spontis. Itemque semper virens pinus, 
et minor ilex : nam prolixior ab omnibus improbatur. 
Ederae quoque non propter bonitatem recipiuntur, 

3 sed quia praebent plurimum mellis. Arborum ^ vero 
sunt probatissimae, rutila atque alba ziziphus, nee 
minus tamarices,® tum etiam amygdalae, persicique, 
ac pyri, denique pomiferarum pleraeque, ne singulis 
immorer. Ac silvestrium commodissime faciunt glan- 
difera robora, quin etiam terebinthus, nee dissimilis 
huic lentiscus ' ac tiliae. Solae ^ ex omnibus nocentes 

^ ut et SAac. 

* viduae ac : vide SA. 

' satureiam ac : satyram etiam S : satyratis A. 

* marinum SAac. 

* arborum SAa : arbores c. 

* tamarices ecld. : amaracus SAac. 

' post lentiscus add. et odorata cedrus Aac : om. S. 

* solae A : sole ac : sola <S'. 



BOOK IX. IV. 1-3 

IV. Meanwhile, when you have chosen your bees Feedin?- 
in accordance with the points which we have just bws^and*"^ 
mentioned, feeding-grounds ought to be assigned to ^'^'°^ '^ 
the bees of which you approve. These should be as 
retired as possible and, as our Maro* directs, void of 
cattle and with a sunny aspect as little as possible 
exposed to storms, 

Where winds may not approach ; for winds prevent 
The bees from bearing home their food; nor 

Nor frisky kids must trample down the flowers, 
Nor heifers wandering o'er the plain shake off 
The dews or crush the rising blades of grass. 

The region should also be rich in small clumps, 2 
especially thyme and marjoram and also in Greek 
savory and our own Italian savory, which the 
country-folk call saiureia. Next let there be plenty 
of shrubs of larger growth, such as rosemary and 
both kinds of trefoil (for there is one variety which is 
sown and another which grows of its own accord), 
also the ever-green pine and the lesser holm-oak (for 
the taller variety is universally condemned). Ivy, 
too, is admitted not for its other good qualities but 
because it provides a large quantity of honey. Of 3 
trees the following are very highly commended, the 
red and white jujube-trees, likewise tamarisks, also 
almond-trees and peach-trees and pear-trees, in a 
word, so as not to waste time in naming each kind, the 
majority of the fruit-bearing trees. Of woodland trees 
the most suitable are the acorn-bearing oaks, also 
terebinths and mastic-trees, which closely resemble 
them, and lime-trees. Of all the trees of this class 

« Vergil, G^eor^. IV. 8-12. 



4 taxi repudiantur. Mille praeterea semina vel crudo 
cespite virentia, vel subacta sulco, flores amicissimos 
apibus creant, ut sunt in virgineo ^ solo frutices amelli, 
caules acanthini, scapus asphodeli, gladiolus narcissi. 
At in hortensi lira consita nitent Candida lilia, nee his 
sordidiora leucoia,^ turn puniceae ^ rosae luteolaeque, 
et Sarranae violae, nee minus caelestis luminis 
hyacinthus, Corycius item Siculusque bulbus croci 

5 deponitur, qui coloret odoretque mella.* lam vero 
notae vilioris innumerabiles nascuntur herbae cultis 
atque pascuis regionibus, quae favorum ceras exu- 
berant : ut vulgares lapsanae, nee his pretiosior 
armoracia, rapistrique olus, et intubi silvestris ac 
nigri papaveris flores, tum agrestis pastinaca, et 
eiusdem nominis edomita, quam Graeci ara^uAtvor^ 

6 vocant. Verum ex cunctis, quae proposui, quaeque 
omisi temporis ^ compendia sequens (nam inexputa- 
bilis erat numerus) ' saporis praecipui mella reddit 
thymus.^ Eximio deinde proximum thymbra, ser- 
pyllumque et origanum. Tertiae notae, sed adhue 
generosae, marinus ^ ros et nostras cunila, quam dixi 
satureiam. Mediocris deinde gustus tamaricis ^" ac 
ziziphi flores, reliquaque, quae ^^ proposuimus, cibaria. 

7 Sed ex sordidis deterrimae notae mel habetur ^^ 

^ virgineo SAac : irriguo edd. 

* sordidiora leucoia ac (inmarg. A) : sordido la reucolatum 

* puniceae edd. : punice SAac. 

* mella ac (in marg. A) : om. S. 

* oTa<j)vXivov A marg. : aTa<}>vaii. non A : aTa<f>vXfi non S. 

* temporis c : temponira SAa. 

' erat numenis ac : et enumeri SA. 

* thymus ac : thymum SA. 

* marinum SAac. 

^^ tamaricis edd. : amarachinia SA : amaranchini ac. 
^^ reliqua quae SAa : reliquaque c. 

BOOK IX. IV. 3-7 

yews only are excluded as being hurtful. Moreover 4 
a thousand seeds, which flourish in uncultivated turf 
or are turned up in the furrow, produce flowers which 
are much loved by bees, for example shrubs of 
starwort * in virgin soil, stalks of bear's foot,* stems of 
asphodel and the sword-like leaf of the narcissus. 
White lilies sown between the furrows in the garden 
make a brilliant show and the gilliflowers have no 
less pure a colour; then there are red and yellow 
roses and purple violets and sky-blue larkspur ; also 
the Corycian <= and Sicilian saffron-bulbs are planted 
to give colour and scent to the honey. Moreover, 5 
countless herbs of a baser kind spring up on culti- 
vated land and pasture which supply an abundance 
of wax for the honey-combs, such as the common 
charlock and the horse-radish, which is no more 
precious, the mustard-herb, and flowers of wild 
endive and black poppy, also the field parsnip, and the 
cultivated variety which bears the same name and 
which the Greeks call staphylinos (carrot). But of 6 
all the plants which I have suggested and of those 
which I have not mentioned so as to save time (for 
their number could not be computed), thyme yields 
honey with the best flavour ; the next best are Greek 
savory, wild thyme and marjoram. In the third 
class, but still of high quality, are rosemary and our 
Italian savory, which I have called satureia. Next 
the flowers of the tamarisk and the jujube-tree and 
the other kinds of fodder which I suggested have only 
a mediocre flavour. The honey which is considered 7 

" Aster amellus. * Acanthus mollis. 

' Corycus was in Cilicia in southern Asia Minor. 

1* habetur c : habentur SAa. 



nemorense, quod sparto atque arbuto ^ provenit : 
villaticum, quod nascitur in oleribus.^ Et quoniam 
situm pastionum atque etiam genera pabulorum 
exposui, nunc de ipsis receptaculis et domiciliis 
examinum loquar. 

V. Sedes apium collocanda est contra brumalem 
meridiem procul a tumultu, et coetu hominum ac 
pecudum, nee calido loco, nee frigido : nam utraque 
re infestantur. Haec autem sit ima parte vallis, et 
ut vacuae cum prodeunt pabulatum apes, facilius 
editioribus advolent, et collectis utensilibus cum 
onere per proclivia non aegre devolent. 

Si villae situs ita competit, non est dubitandum 
quin aedificio iunctum apiarium maceria circum- 
demus, sed in ea parte, quae tetris latrinae ster- 
2 quiliniique et a balinei libera est odoribus. Verum ^ 
si positio repugnabit, nee maxima tamen incommoda 
congruent,* sic quoque magis expediet sub oculis 
domini esse apiarium. Sin autem cuncta fuerint 
Inimica, certe vicina vallis occupetur, quo saepius 
descendere non sit grave possidenti. Nam res ista 
maximam fidem desiderat ; quae quoniam rarissima 
est, interventu domini tutius custoditur. Neque ea 

1 arbusto SAac. 

^ post oleribua add. et stercorosis herbis a : om. SA : et 
stercoris herbis c {in marg.) A. 

' veTum A^ac : vel et <S : vellet^*. 
* congruent ^*oc : congluent aS^ ^ 

BOOK IX. IV. 7-v. 2 

of the poorest quality is the woodland honey which 
comes from dirty feeding-grounds and is produced 
from broom-trees and strawberry-trees, and the 
farm-house honey which comes from vegetables. Now 
that I have described the situation of the feeding- 
grounds and also the various kinds of food, I will next 
speak of the arrangement for receiving and housing 
the swarm. 

V. A position must be chosen for the bees facing On the best 
the sun at midday in winter, far from the noise and the an"apia^!°'^ 
assemblage of men and beasts and neither hot nor 
cold, for bees are troubled by both these conditions. 
It should be situated in the bottom of a valley, that 
the empty bees, when they go forth to feed, may be 
able more easily to fly up to the higher ground, and 
also, when they have collected what they require, 
they may fly with their burden on a down-hill course 
without any difficulty. 

If the situation of the farm permits, we ought not 
to hesitate to join the apiary to a building and 
surround it with a wall, but it must be on the side of 
the house which is free from the foul odours which 
come from the latrines, the dunghill and the bath- 
room. If, however, this position has drawbacks, but 2 
yet the worst disadvantages are not all present, even 
under these conditions it will be more expedient for 
the apiary to be under the master's eye. If, how- 
ever, everything is unfavourable, at all events a 
valley should be pitched upon close at hand, so that 
the owner may be able to go down rather often 
and visit it without grave inconvenience ; for in 
bee-keeping perfect honesty is necessary, and since 
this is very rare, it is better secured by the inter- 
vention of the master. Not only is an overseer who 



curatorem fraudulentum tantum, sed etiam immun- 
dae segnitiae perosa est. Aeque enim dedignatur, 
si minus pure habita est, ac si tractetur fraudulenter. 

3 Sed ubicumque fuerint alvearia ^ non editissimo 
claudantur muro. Qui si metu praedonum sublimior 
placuerit, tribus elatis ab humo pedibus, exiguis in 
ordinem fenestellis apibus sit pervius : iungaturque 
tugurium, quod et custodes habitent, et quo ^ con- 
datur instrumentum : sitque maxime repletum prae- 
paratis alveis ^ ad usum novorum examinum, nee 
minus herbis salutaribus, et siqua sunt alia, quae 
languentibus adhibentur. 

4 Palmaque vestibulum aut ingens oleaster obum- 

Ut cum prima novi * ducent examina reges, 
Vere suo, ludetque favis emissa iuventus : 
Vicina invitet decedere ripa calori, 
Obviaque hospitiis teneat frondentibus arbos. 

Tum perennis aqua, si est facultas, inducatur, vel 

6 extracta ^ manu detur, sine qua neque favi neque 

mella nee pulli denique figurari queunt. Sive igitur, 

ut dixi, praeterfluens unda vel putealis canalibus 

1 alvearia A'ac : albaria SA^, 

* quo om. SAac. 

' alveis A^ac : alubia SA. 

* prima novi edd. : vere novo SAae, 

* extracta SA^ : extructo A'ao. 


BOOK IX. V. 2-5 

is fraudulent abhorrent to the business but also one 
whose laziness causes filthy conditions ; for bee- 
keeping revolts alike against a lack of cleanliness 
and against fraudulent management. 

Wherever the hives are placed, they should not be 3 
enclosed within very high walls. If, through fear of 
robbers, a rather lofty w^all is thought desirable, 
passages through it should be made for the bees in 
the form of a row of little windows three feet above 
the ground, and there should be an adjoining cottage 
in which the keepers may live and the apparatus 
may be stored. The store-house should be chiefly 
occupied by hives ready for the use of new swarms 
and also by health-giving herbs and any other 
remedies which may be applied to bees when they 
are sick. 

And let a palm or vast wild-olive tree 4 

O'ershade the porch, that when new kings lead 

The infant swarms and the young bees m^ake 

In their own spring, from honey-combs set free ; 
Then let the neighbouring bank invite retreat 
From mid-day heat, and let the sheltering tree 
Hold them in leafy hospitality." 

Next let ever-flowing water, if it is available, be 5 
introduced or drawn by hand and provided, without 
which neither combs nor honey nor even young 
bees can be formed. Whether, therefore, as I 
have said, it be running water which has been 
conveyed in channels or well-water, it should con- 

<• Vergil, Georg. IV. 20 ff. 



immissa fuerit, virgis ac lapidibus aggeretur apium 

Pontibus ut crebris possint consistere, et alas 
Pandere ad aestivum solem, si forte morantis 
Sparserit, aut praeceps Neptuno immerserit Eurus. 

6 Conseri deinde circa totum apiarium debent 
arbusculae incrementi parvi, maximeque propter 
salubritatem (nam sunt etiam remedio languentibus) 
cytisi, turn deinde casiae atque pini et rosmarinus : ^. 
quin etiam cunilae et thymi frutices, item violarum, 
vel quaecunque ^ utiliter deponi patitur qualitas 
terrae. Gravis et tetri odoris non solum virentia sed 
et quaelibet res prohibeantur, sicuti cancri nidor, 
cum est ignibus adustus, aut odor palustris caeni. 
Nee minus vitentur cavae rupes aut vallis argutiae, 
quas Graeci vocant rjX^^^S-^ 

VI. Igitur ordinatis sedibus, alvearia * fabricanda 
sunt pro conditione regionis. Sive ilia ferax est 
suberis, baud dubitanter utilissimas alvos ° faciemus 
ex corticibus, quia nee hieme frigent,^ nee candent 
aestate ; sive ferulis exuberat, iis quoque, quod sunt 
naturae corticis similes, aeque commode vasa 
texuntur. Si neutrum aderit, opere textorio ' sali- 
cibus connectentur : vel si nee haec suppetent, 

1 marinum SAac. 

2 quaecunque A^ac : quae SA^. 
' rjxovs om. ac. 

* alvearia ac : albaria SA. 

* alvos A^c : albos SA'^ : alveos a. 
' frigent SAa : rigent c. 

' opere textorio edd. : opererio S : operario Aa : opere 
vitorio c. 

BOOK IX. V. 5-vi. I 

tain heaps of sticks and stones for the use of the 

That upon frequent bridges they may rest 
And spread their wings to catch the summer sun, 
If swift east winds have caught them loitering 
And rained on them or plunged them in the deep." 

Next, round the whole apiary, little trees of small 6 
growth ought to be planted and in particular shrub- 
trefoils on account of their health-giving properties 
(for they are a remedy for bees when they are list- 
less) ; also wild cinnamon and pines and rosemary, 
and clumps of marjoram and thyme and violets and 
whatever else the nature of the ground allows to be 
profitably planted. Not only growing things but also 
anything whatsoever which has a disagreeable and 
noisome odour should be kept away from the apiary, 
such as the smell of a crab when it is burnt on the 
fire or the odour of mud taken from a marsh. Like- 
wise let hollow rocks and shrill noises produced by 
valleys, which the Greeks call echoes, be avoided. 

VI. When, therefore, the sites have been arranged, On the 
beehives must be constructed in accordance with beeUve*s. 
local conditions. If the place is rich in cork-trees, . 

we shall certainly make the most serviceable hives 
from their bark, because they are neither cold in 
winter nor hot in summer ; or if it grows plenty of 
fennel-stalks, with these too, since they resemble 
the nature of bark, receptacles can be quite as con- 
veniently made by weaving them together. If 
neither of these materials is at hand, the hives can be 
made by plaiting withies together ; or, if these are 
not available either, they will have to be made with 

" Vergil, Oeorg. IV, 27 ff. 



ligno cavae ^ arboris aut ^ in tabulas desectae fabrica- 

2 buntur. Deterrima est conditio fictilium, quae et 
accenduntur aestatis vaporibus, et gelantur hiemis 
frigoribus. Reliqua sunt alvorum genera duo, ut 
vel ex fimo fingantur,^ vel lateribus extruantur : 
quorum alterum iure damnavit Celsus, quoniam 
maxime est ignibus obnoxium ; alterum probavit, 
quamvis incommodum eius praecipuum non dissimu- 
laverit, quod, si res postulet, transferri non possit. 

3 Itaque non assentior ei, qui putat nihilo minus eius 
generis habendas esse alvos : neque enim solum id 
repugnat rationibus domini, quod immobiles sint, cum 
vendere aut alios agros instruere velit ; (hoc enim 
commodum pertinet ad utilitatem solius patris- 
familias) sed, quod ipsarum apium causa ^ fieri debet, 
cum aut morbo aut sterilitate et penuria locorum 
vexatas conveniet ^ in aliam regionem mitti, nee 
propter praedictam causam moveri poterunt,^ hoc 

4 maxime vitandum est. Itaque quamvis doctissimi 
viri auctoritatem reverebar, tamen ambitione sub- 
mota, quid ipse censerem, non omisi. Nam quod 
maxime movet Celsum, ne sint stabula vel igni vel 
furibus obnoxia, potest vitari opere lateritio circum- 
structis alvis, ut impediatur rapina praedonis, et 
contra flammarum violentiam protegantur : "^ easdem- 
que, cum fuerint movendae, resolutis structurae 
compagibus, licebit transferre. 

^ cave SA : cavatae ac. 

* aut ac : om. SA . 

* fingantur ac : finguntur 8 A, 

* causa ac : coriosa SA. 

* conveniet SAa : -at c. 

* poterint S : -ant Aac. 
'' proteguntur SAac. 


BOOK IX. VI. 1-4 

wood of a tree either hollow or cut up into boards. 
Those made of earthenware have the worst quaUties 2 
of all, since they are burnt by the heat of summer 
and frozen by the cold of winter. Two kinds of hives 
remain to be described, those which are either made 
of dung or built of bricks. Celsus was right in con- 
demning the former because it is very liable to catch 
fire; the latter he approved, although he made no 
secret of its chief disadvantage, namely, that if 
occasion should arise, it cannot be moved to another 
site. I do not agree with him who thinks that hives 3 
of this kind ought to be used in spite of this draw- 
back, for it is not only against the interests of the 
owner that they should be immovable when he wants 
to sell them or furnish another site with hives (for 
these considerations concern the convenience of the 
owner alone), but the question arises as to what ought 
to be done for the sake of the bees themselves, when 
it is advisable that they should be sent to another 
district because they are suffering from disease or 
from the barrenness and poverty of the locality and yet 
cannot be moved for the reason mentioned above — 
a state of affairs which ought above all things to be 
avoided. So, though holding in respect the 4 
authority of a learned man, yet, without seeking to 
set myself up against him, I have not omitted to 
express my own opinion. For Celsus' chief anxiety, 
lest the bees' quarters should be exposed to fire or 
thieves, can be avoided by building a brick wall round 
the hives to prevent the plundering of robbers and 
to give protection against the violence of fire, and, 
when the hives have to be moved it will be possible to 
take apart the framework of the structure and move 
the hives elsewhere. 



VII. Sed quoniam plerisque videtur istud opero- 
sum, qualiacunque vasa placuerint, coUocari debe- 
bunt. Suggestus lapideus extenditur per totum 
apiarium in ^ tres pedes altitudinis ^ extructus, isque 
diligenter opere tectorio levigatur, ita ne ascensus 
lacertis, aut anguibus, aliisve noxiis animalibus 

2 praebeatur. Superponuntur deinde, sive, ut Celso 
placet, lateribus facta domicilia,sive,ut nobis, alvearia, 
praeterquam a tergo ^ circumstructa : seu, quod paene 
omnium in usu est, qui mode diligenter ista curant, 
per ordinem vasa disposita ligantur, vel laterculis, 
vel caementis, ita ut singula binis parietibus angustis 
contineantur, liberaeque frontes utrimque sint. Nam 
et qua procedunt, nonnunquam patefaciendae sunt,* 
et multo magis a tergo, quia subinde curantur ex- 

3 amina. Sin autem nulli parietes alvis intervenient, 
sic tamen collocandae erunt, ut paulum altera ab 
altera distet, ne,^ cum inspiciuntur, ea, quae in 
curatione tractatur, haerentem sibi alteram concutiat, 
vicinasque apes conterreat, quae omnem motum 
imbecillis ut cereis ® scilicet operibus suis tamquam 
ruinam timent. Ordines quidem vasorum superin- 
structos in altitudinem tres esse abunde est, quoniam 
summum sic quoque parum commode curator in- 

4 spicit. Ora cavearum, quae praebent apibus vesti- 
bula, proniora sint quam terga, ut ne influant imbres, 

^ in ac : per SA. 

* post altitudinis add. totidemque crassitudinis ac : om. SA. 

* ante tergo add. et frontibus iSAa : om. edd. 

* sunt Aac : sint S. 
^ nee SAac. 

* cereis ac : ceteris SA. 


BOOK IX. VII. 1-4 

VII. But since most people regard all this as involv- On the 
ing too much trouble, whatever kind of receptacles beehives. 
take their fancy will have to be arranged thus. A 
bank made of stones built three feet high is stretched 
across the apiary and carefully smoothed over with 
plaster, so that no chance of climbing it may be 
offered to lizards and snakes or other harmful 
creatures ; then on the top of it are placed either 2 
bee-houses made with bricks, which Celsus prefers, 
or, as we prefer, hives walled round except at the 
back ; or else — and this is the practice of almost all 
those who are careful in these matters — receptacles 
arranged in a row are fastened together either with 
small bricks or with unhewn stones in such a way 
that each is contained within two narrow walls and 
the two sides, at the back and at the front, are 
left free ; for the sides on which they issue forth 
have sometimes to be opened and this is especi- 
ally necessary at the back because the swarms 
have to be attended to from time to time. If 
there are no partitions between the hives, they 3 
will, nevertheless, have to be so placed as to be at a 
little distance from one another, so that, when they 
are being inspected, one which is handled in the 
course of being attended to may not shake another 
which is closely joined to it, and alarm the neigh- 
bouring bees, which are afraid of every movement 
as threatening ruin to their structures which are 
frail, being of wax. It is quite enough to have three 
rows of hives one above the other, since even so the 
man who looks after them cannot very conveniently 
inspect the top row. The fronts of the hives, which 4 
afford entries for the bees, should slope down more 
than their backs, so that the rain may not flow in, 



et si forte tamen incesserint,^ non immorentur, 
sed per aditum effluant. Propter quos convenit 
alvearia porticibus supermuniri ; sin aliter, luto Pu- 
nico frondibus inlimatis adumbrari, quod tegmen cum 
frigora et pluvias, turn et aestus arcet. Nee tamen 
ita nocet huic generi calor aestatis ut hiemale frigus.^ 
Itaque semper aedificium sit post apiarium, quod 
Aquilonis excipiat iniuriam, stabulisque praebeat 

5 teporem. Nee minus ipsa domicilia, quamvis aedificio 
protegantur,^ obversa tamen ad hibernum orientem 
componi debebunt, ut apricum habeant apes matu- 
tinum egressum, et sint experrectiores. Nam frigus 
ignaviam creat ; pi'opter quod etiam foramina, 
quibus exitus aut introitus datur, angustissima esse 
debent, ut quam minimum frigoris admittant : eaque 
satis est ita forari, ne possint ^ capere plus unius apis 
incrementum. Sic nee venenatus stellio, nee obscae- 
num scarabaei^ vel papilionis genus, lucifugaeque 
blattae, ut ait Maro, per laxiora spatia ianuae favos 

6 populabuntur. Atque utilissimum est pro frequentia 
domicilii duos vel tres aditus in eodem operculo 
distantes inter se fieri contra fallaciam lacerti, qui 
velut custos vestibuli ^ prodeuntibus inhians ' apibus 
affert exitium, eaeque pauciores intereunt, cum 

^ incesserit SA : ingesserint ac. 

* calor aestatis ut hiemale frigus Gesner ex Palladii citatione : 
caloris ut hiemalitus SA : caloris ut hiemis alitus a : caloris 
aut hiemis estus c. 

' protegantur ac : -untur SA. 

* possint ac : possit SA. 
^ searabei c : -ri SAa. 

* vestibuli SAac. 

' inhians ac : in hanc SA. 

" The text here is doubtful but the sense clear. 
» Vergil, Oeorg. IV. 243. 


BOOK IX. VII. 4-6 

and that, if by chance it does find its way in, it may 
not remain there but flow out through the entrance. 
Also, on account of the rain, the hives should be 
protected above with colonnades, or, failing these, 
they should be overshadowed by green foliage 
daubed over with Carthaginian clay, forming a 
covering which keeps off both the cold and rain and 
also the heat. However the heat of summer is not 
so harmful to this kind of creature as the cold of 
winter," and so there should always be a building 
behind the apiary to intercept the violence of the 
north wind and provide warmth for the hives. 
Likewise the bees' dwelling-places, although they 5 
are protected by buildings, ought to be so arranged 
as to face the south-east, in order that the bees 
may enjoy the sun when they go out in the 
morning and may be more wide-awake ; for cold 
begets sloth. For the same reason, too, the holes 
through which they go in and out ought to be very 
narrow, so as to admit as little cold as possible ; 
indeed it is enough that they should be so bored 
that they cannot admit the bulk of more than one bee 
at a time. Thus neither the poisonous gecko nor the 
foul race of beetles and butterflies and the cock- 
roaches that shun the day-light, as Maro says,^ will not 
lay waste the honey-combs by having too wide an 
entrance to pass through. It is also a most useful 6 
device to have made in proportion to the number of 
bees in the hive, two or three entrances in its outer 
covering at a distance from one another to defeat 
the craftiness of the lizard, which standing like a 
door-keeper at the entry, with open mouth, brings 
destruction upon the bees as they come forth, and 
fewer of them perish when they are at liberty to 




licet 1 vitare pestis obsidia per aliud volantibus ^ 

VIII. Atque haec de pabulationibus, domiciliisque ^ 
et sedibus eligendis abunde diximus : quibus pro- 
visis, sequitur ut examina desideremus. Ea ^ porro 
vel aere parta, vel gratuita contingunt. Sed quas 
pretio comparabimus, scrupulosius praedictis com- 
probemus notis, et earum frequentiam prius quam 

2 mercemur, apertis alvearibus consideremus : vel si 
non fuerit inspiciendi facultas, certe id quod con- 
templari licet, notabimus : ^ an in vestibule ianuae 
complures consistant, et vehemens sonus intus 
mui-murantium exaudiatur. Atque etiam si omnes 
intra domicilium silentes forte conquiescent, labris 
foramini aditus admotis, et inflato spiritu ex respon- 
dente earum subito ^ fremitu poterimus aestimare 
vel multitudinem, vel paucitatem. 

3 Praecipue autem custodiendum est, ut ex vicinia 
potius, quam peregrinis regionibus pctantur, quo- 
niam solent caeli novitate lacessiri. Quod si non 
contingit, ac necesse habuerimus longinquis itineri- 
bus advehere, curabimus ' ne salebris solicitentur, 
optimeque noctibus collo portabuntur. Nam diebus 
requies danda est, et infundendi sunt grati apibus 

4 liquores, quibus intra clausum alantur. Mox cum 
perlatae domum fuerint, si dies supervenerit, nee 

^ licet c : liceant SA : liceat a. 

2 volantibus S : ulantibus A : vadentibus ac. 

* domiciliisque Sa : domiciliis et c : domicilibusque A. 

* ea ac : om. 8A. 

^ notabimus ac : notavimus SA. 

* subito ac : sumito SA. 

' curabimus c : curavimus SA : om. a. 


BOOK IX. VII. 6-vni. 4 

avoid the pest which lies in wait for them by flying 
out by another passage. 

VIII. We have now said enough about the choice Onthepur- 
of feeding-grounds, dwelling-places and their sites, and^he ''^^ 
These having been provided, the next things that taking of 

^ n \. Til . swarms. 

we require are swarms or bees. Ihese come to us 
either by purchase or without being paid for. Those 
which we are going to buy we shall test with particu- 
lar care by means of the points already mentioned, and 
we must consider how numerous they are before we 
purchase them, by opening the hives ; or if there are 2 
no facilities for inspecting them, we shall at any rate 
take note of what we are allowed to see, namely, 
whether a goodly number of bees are standing in the 
entrance-porch and whether a loud noise is to be 
heard of bees buzzing inside. Also if it so happens 
that they are all silent and at peace within their 
dwelling-place, we shall be able to estimate their 
great or small number from the sudden noise on the 
part of the bees as a result of our applying our lips to 
the hole by which they enter and blowing into it. 

But we must be particularly careful that the 3 
swarms are brought from the neighbourhood rather 
than from distant regions, since they are usually 
irritated by a change of climate. But if this is 
impossible and we are obliged to convey them over 
long distances, we shall be careful that they are not 
disturbed by the roughness of the road, and they will 
be best carried on the shoulders and at night ; for 
they must be given rest in the day-time, and liquids 
which they like must be poured into the hives, so that 
they may be fed while remaining shut up. Then 4 
when they have arrived at their destination, if day- 
light has come on, the hive must be neither opened 



aperiri nee collocari oportebit alvum, nisi vesperi, 
ut apes placidae mane post totius requiem ^ noctis 
egrediantur ; specularique debebimus ^ fere triduo, 
numquid universae se profundant. Quod cum faciunt, 
fugam meditantur. Ea remediis quibus debeat 
inhiberi, mox praecipiemus. 

5 At quae dono vel aucupio contingunt, minus 
scrupulose probantur : quamquam ne sic quidem 
velim nisi optimas possidere, cum et impensam et 
eandem operam custodis postulent bonae atque 
improbae : et quod ^ maxime refert,^ non sunt 
degeneres intermiscendae, quae infament generosas. 
Nam minor fructus mellis respondet, cum segniora 

6 interveniunt examina. Verumtamen quoniam inter- 
dum propter conditionem locorum vel mediocre pecus 
(nam malum nullo quidem modo) parandum est, 
curam vestigandis examinibus hac ratione adhibe- 

7 bimus. Ubicunque saltus sunt idonei, mellifici, nihil 
antiquius apes, quam, quibus utantur, vicinos eligunt 
fontes. Eos itaque convenit plerumque ab hora 
secunda obsidere, specularique quae turba sit 
aquantium. Nam si paucae admodum circumvolant 
(nisi tamen complura capita rivorum diductas faciunt 
rariores) intelligenda est earum penuria, propter 
quam locum quoque non esse mellificum suspica- 

8 bimur. At si commeant frequentes, spem quoque 

1 requiem oc : quiem SA. 

* debebimus SA : debemus ac. 
^ quod ac : quoque SA. 

* refert Aac : referunt S. 


nor placed in position until evening conies, so that 
the bees may go forth quietly in the morning after a 
whole night's rest, and we shall need to watch care- 
fully for about three days to see whether they all 
sally forth in a body; for when they do this, they 
are meditating escape. We will presently prescribe 
what remedies we ought to apply to prevent this. 

Bees which come to us by gift or by capture are 5 
accepted less scrupulously, although even in these 
circumstances I would not care to possess any but the 
best, since good and bad bees require the same ex- 
penditure and the same labour on the part of their 
keeper; also (and this is especially important) in- 
ferior bees should not be mixed with those of high 
quality, since they bring discredit upon them ; for a 
smaller yield of honey rewards your efforts when the 
idler swarms take part in the gathering of it. Never- 6 
theless, since sometimes, owing to local conditions, 
an indifferent set of bees has to be procured (though 
never on any account should a bad one be acquired), 
we shall exercise care in seeking out swarms by the 
following method. Wherever there are suitable 7 
woodlands where honey can be gathered, there is 
nothing that the bees would sooner do than make 
choice of springs near at hand for their use. It is 
a good plan, therefore, usually to frequent these 
springs from the second hour onwards and watch 
how many bees come to them for water. For if only 
a few are flying about (unless there are several sources 
of water which attract them and cause them to be 
more widely dispersed) we must conclude that there 
is a scarcity of them, which will make us suspect that 
the place will not produce much honey. But if they 8 
come and go in large numbers, they inspire greater 



aucupandi examina maiorem faciunt ; eaque sic 
inveniuntur. Primum quam longe sint explorandum 
est, praeparandaque ^ in hanc ^ rem liquida rubrica : 
qua cum festucis illitis contigeris apium terga fontem 
libantium, commoratus ^ eodem loco facilius re- 
deuntes agnoscere poteris ; ac si non tarde id * facient, 
scies eas in vicino consistere : sin autem serius, pro 
9 morae tempore ^ aestimabis distantiam loci. Sed 
cum animadverteris celeriter redeuntes, non aegre 
persequens iter volantium ad sedem perduceris 
examinis. In iis autem quae longius meare vide- 
buntur, solertior adhibebitur cura, quae talis est. 
Arundinis internodium cum suis articulis exciditur, 
et terebratur ab latere talea^ per quod foramen 
exiguo melle vel defruto ' instillato, ponitur iuxta 
fontem. Deinde cum ad odorem dulcis liquaminis 
complures apes irrepsei'unt,^ tollitur talea, et 
apposito ^ foramini pollice non emittitur, nisi una, 
quae cum evasit, fugam suam demonstrat obser- 
vanti : atque is, dum sufficit, persequitur evolantem. 
10 Cum^" deinde conspicerepossit^^ apem,tumi2 alteram 
emittit : et si eandem petit ^^ caeli partem, vestigiis 
prioribus inhaeret. Si minus, aliam atque aliam 
foramine adaperto patitur egredi ; regionemque 

' praeparandumque SAac. 

" hac SA : hanc ac. 

' comraoratur SAc : -os a. 

* id ac : in SA. 

^ tempoiis SAac. 

* alba ter et alia S : alvatere talea A : ab latere talea a : 
ab latera talea c. 

' defriti SA : defruto ac. 

* irrepserunt ac : inperserunt SA. 

* apposito ac : imposito SA. 
1" cum ac : om. SA. 

^^ desit oc: possitS^. 


BOOK IX. viii. 8-IO 

hopes of our catching swarms of them ; and the 
following is the method of finding them. First we 
must try to discover how far away they are, and 
for this purpose liquid red-ochre must be prepared ; 
then, after touching the backs of the bees with stalks 
smeared with this liquid as they are drinking at the 
spring, waiting in the same place you will be able 
more easily to recognize the bees when they return. 
If they are not slow in returning, you will know that 
they dwell in the neighbourhood ; but if they are 
late in doing so, you will calculate the distance by 
the period of their delay. If you notice them return- 9 
ing quickly, you will have no difficulty in following 
the course of their flight and will be led to where 
the swarm has its home. As regards those who 
apparently go farther away, a more ingenious plan 
will be adopted, as follows. The joint of a reed with 
the knots at either end is cut and a hole bored in the 
side of the rod thus formed, through which you 
should drop a little honey or boiled-down must. 
The rod is then placed near a spring. Then when a 
number of bees, attracted by the smell of the sweet 
liquid, have crept into it, the rod is taken away and 
the thumb placed on the hole and one bee only 
released at a time, which, when it has escaped, shows 
the line of its flight to the observer, and he, as long 
as he can keep up, follows it as it flies away. Then, 10 
when he can no longer see the bee, he lets out 
another, and if it seeks the same quarter of the 
heavens he persists in following his foi'mer tracks. 
Otherwise he opens the hole and allows them to 

^2 apem turn ac : apertum SA. 
12 petit ac : cepit SA. 



notat, in quam plures revolent, et eas persequitur, 
donee ad latebram perducatur examinis. 

Quod sive est abditum specu, fumo elicietur, et 
cum erupit, aeris strepitu coercetur. Nam statim 
sono territum vel in frutice vel in editiore silvae fronde 
considet, et a vestigatore praeparato vase ^ recon- 

11 ditur. Sin autem sedem habet arboris cavae, et aut 
extat ramus, quem obtinent, aut sunt in ipsius 
arboris trunco,^ tunc, si ^ mediocritas patitur, acutis- 
sima serra, quo celerius id fiat, praeciditur primum 
superior pars, quae ab apibus vacat ; deinde inferior, 
quatenus videtur inhabitari. Tum recisus utraque 
parte mundo vestimento contegitur, quoniam hoc 
quoque plurimum refert, ac si quibus rimis hiat illitis 
ad locum perfertur : relictisque * parvis, ut iam dixi, 
foraminibus,^ more ceterarum alvorum collocatur.^ 

12 Sed indagatorem convenit matutina tempora ves- 
tigandi eligere, ut spatium diei habeat, quo exploret 
commeatus apium. Saepe enim, si serius coepit eas 
denotare, etiam cum in propinquo sunt, iustis operum 
peractis se recipiunt, nee remeant ad aquam : quo 
evenit ut vestigator ignoret, quam longe a fonte 

* vase ac : vaso 8 A. 

- in ipsius arboris trunco edd. : aut ipsius truncis (trucis 
A) SA : aut ipsius trunci c : ipsius trunci a. 

* in eo sunt SA : si in eo ca. 

* relictisque ac : relictis SA. 

* foraminibus ac : certaminibus iS : certaminis A. 
" coUocatur ac : -antur SA. 

BOOK IX. VIII. 10-12 

emerge one after another, and marks the direction 
in which most of them fly home, and pursues 
them until he is led to the lurking-place of the swarm. 
If it is hidden in a cave, the swarm will be driven 
out with smoke, and when it has sallied forth, it is 
checked by the noise of brass being beaten ; for, 
terrified by the sound, it will immediately settle on 
a shrub or on a higher kind of foliage, that of a tree, 
and is enclosed in a vessel prepared for the purpose by 
the man who has tracked down the bees. But if the 11 
swarm has its home in a hollow tree and either the 
branch which the bees occupy stands out from the 
tree or they are inside the trunk of the tree itself, 
then, if the small size of the branch or trunk allows, 
first the upper part, which is empty of bees, is cut 
thi'ough with a saw which should be very sharp so 
that the operation may be more quickly carried out, 
and then the lower part so far as it seems to be 
inhabited. Then, when it has been cut off at both 
ends, it is covered with a clean garment (for this too 
is very important), and if there are any gaping holes," 
they are daubed over, and it is carried to the place 
where the bees are kept, and, small holes being left 
in it, as I have said, it is put in position like the rest 
of the hives. The seai'cher for swarms should 12 
choose the morning for his search, so that he may 
have the whole day to spy out the comings and 
goings of the bees. For often, if he is too late in 
beginning to observe them, when they have finished 
their usual tasks, they go home and do not return to 
the water, even though they are near at hand, with 
the result that the man who is searching for them 
does not know how far away the swarm is from the 

" I.e. in the vessel. 



13 distet examen. Sunt qui per initia veris apiastrum, 
atque, ut ille vates ait, 

Trita melisphylla et cerinthae ignobile gramen, 

aliasque colligant similes herbas, quibus id genus 
animalium delectatur, et ita alvos perfricent, ut odor 
et succus vasis inhaereat : quae deinde mundata 
exiguo melle respergant, et per nemora non longe a 
fontibus disponant, eaque cum repleta sunt exami- 

14 nibus, domum referant. Sed hoc nisi locis, quibus 
abundant apes, facere non expedit. Nam saepe vel 
inania vasa nacti, qui forte praetereunt, secum au- 
ferunt : neque est tanti vacua perdere complura, ut 
uno vel altero potiare ^ pleno. At in maiore copia, 
etiam si multa ^ intercipiuntur, plus est quod in re- 
pertis apibus acquiritur. Atque haec est ratio 
capiendi silvestria examina. 

IX. Deinceps talis altera est vernacula retinendi.^ 
Semper quidem custos sedule circumire debet alvea- 
ria. Neque enim ullum tempus est, quo non curam 
desiderent ; sed cam postulant diligentiorem, cum 
vernant et exundant novis fetibus, qui nisi curatoris 
obsidio protinus excepti sunt, difFugiunt. Quippe talis 
est apium natura, ut pariter quaeque plebs generetur 
cum regibus ; qui ubi evolandi vires adepti sunt, 
consortia dedignantur vetustiorum, multoque magis 

^ potiare ac : patiore SA. 
* si multa Sa : simulata Ac. 

' post retinendi add. quem ad modum vernacula nova 
examina observentur et in alvos condantur SA : om. ac. 

» Vorgil, Oeorg. IV. 63. 


fountain. There are some people who during the 13 
early spring collect wild parsley and, in the words of 
the great poet, 

Bruised balm and wax-flower's lowly greenery," 

and other similar herbs in which this kind of creatures 
takes delight, and rub the hives thoroughly with 
them, so that the scent and juice stick to them; 
then, after cleaning them, they sprinkle them with 
a little honey and place them here and there in the 
woods not far from the springs and, when they are 
full of swarms, they carry them back home. It is 14 
not, however, expedient to do this except in places 
where there is an abundance of bees, because it often 
happens that chance passers-by, finding the hives 
empty, carry them off with them, nor is the possession 
cf one or two full of bees enough to compensate for 
the loss of several empty hives. But where bees are 
more plentiful, even if many hives are carried off, 
their loss is made up by the bees which are obtained. 
Such is the method of catching wild swarms of bees. 

IX. Next there is another method of retaining the The treat- 
swarms produced from our own apiaries. The bred in the^^ 
keeper ought always diligently to go round the hives, ^^P*' 
for there is no time when they do not need his care 
but they demand still more careful attention when 
the bees feel the approach of spring and the hives 
overflow with new offspring, which, unless they are 
promptly intercepted by the constant watchfulness 
of the keeper, fly off in different directions. For such 
is the nature of bees that each brood of ordinary bees 
is generated together with its king and, when they 
have acquired enough strength to fly away, they 
despise the society of their elders and even more the 




imperia : quippe cum rationabili generi ^ mortalium, 
turn magis egentibus consilii mutis ^ animalibus, nulla 

2 sit regni societas. Itaque novi duces procedunt cum 
sua iuventute, quae uno aut altero die in ipso domi- 
cilii vestibulo glomerata consistens, egressu suo 
propriae desiderium sedis ostendit ; eaque tanquam ^ 
patria contenta est, si a procuratore * protinus 
assignetur. Sin autem defuit custos, velut iniuria 

3 repulsa ^ peregrinam regionem petit. Quod ne fiat, 
boni curatoris est vernis temporibus observare ® 
alvos ' in octavam fere diei horam, post quam ^ non 
temere se nova proripiunt agmina ; ^ eorumque^" 
egressus diligenter custodiat. Nam quaedam solent, 
cum subito evaserunt, sine cunctatione se proripere. 

4 Poterit exploratam fugam praesciscere vespertinis 
temporibus aurem singulis alveis admovendo. Si- 
quidem fere ante triduum, quam eruptionem facturae 
sint, velut militaria ^^ signa moventium tumultus ac 
murmur exoritur : ex quo, ut verissime dicit Ver- 

Corda licet vulgi praesciscere namque morantes 
Martius ille aeris rauci canor increpat,^^ gt vox 
Auditur fractos sonitus imitata tubarum. 

^ genere SAac. 

* mutis ac : muti S : multa A. 
' tanquam SA : velut ac. 

* procurator S : procurator! A : procurati c. 

* repulsa c : -am SAa,. 
^ observari SA : -e ac. 
' alveos ac : alvis SA. 

* postquam horam SAac. 

* agmina ac : -e SA. 


BOOK IX. IX. 1-4 

orders which they give ; for as the human race, which 
possesses reason, allows no partnership of the kingly 
power, much less do the dumb animals who are lack- 
ing in understanding. Therefore the new chieftains 2 
come forth with their following of young bees, which, 
remaining in a mass for one or two days at the very 
entrance of their abode, by their coming out show 
their desire for a home of their own, and if the man in 
charge immediately assigns it to them, are as content 
with it as if it were their native place. If, however, 
the keeper has been away, they make for some strange 
region as if they had been driven away unjustly. To 3 
prevent this, it is the duty of a good overseer in 
spring-time to keep an eye upon the hives until about 
the eighth hour of the day (after which the new 
battalions of bees do not take to impetuous flight), 
and carefully watch their departures, for some of them, 
when they have broken out, usually immediately rush 
away. He will be able to find out beforehand their 4 
decision to escape by putting his ear to each of the 
hives in the evening ; for about three days before 
they intend to break out an uproar and buzzing arises 
like that of an army setting out on the march. From 
this, as Vergil very truly says. 

You can foreknow the purpose of the herd ; 
The martial roar of the hoarse brass reproves 
The loiterers, and a voice is heard whose notes 
The broken sound of trumpets imitates." 

" Oeorg. IV. 70 ff. 

^^ eoque ut eorumque egressus c : eoque regressus 8A : 
eorumque egressus eoque regressus a. 
11 mili taria iS^ac : milia^SM. 
1* increpat ac : invocat SA. 



5 Itaque maxime observari debent, quae istud 
faciunt, ut sive ad pugnam eruperint, nam inter se 
tanquam civilibus bellis, et cum alteris quasi cum 
exteris gentibus proeliantur, sive fugae causa se 
proripuerint, praesto sit ad utrumque casum paratus ^ 

6 custos. Pugna quidem vel unius inter se dissidentis 
vel duorum examinum discordantium facile compesci- 
tur : nam ut idem ait, 

Pulveris exigui iactu compressa quiescit : 

aut aqua mulsea ^ passove, aut aliquo liquore simili^ 
respersa,'* videlicet familiari dulcedine saevientium 
iras mitigante. Nam eadem mire etiam dissidentes 
reges conciliant. Sunt enim saepe plures unius 
populi duces, et quasi procerum seditione plebs in 
partes diducitur : quod frequenter fieri prohibendum 
est, quoniam intestine bello totae gentes consu- 

7 muntur. Itaque si constat principibus gratia, manet ^ 
pax incruenta. Sin autem saepius acie dimicantes 
notaveris, duces seditionum interficere curabis : 
dimicantium vero proelia praedictis remediis se- 
dantur. Ac deinde cum agmen glomeratum in 
proximo frondentis arbusculae ramo consederit, 
animadvertito, an totum examen in speciem unius 
uvae dependeat : idque signum erit aut unum regem 

^ paratus Sac : -os A. 

^ aqua mulsea SA : aqua mulsa a : aut mulsa c : mulso 

' simili ac : simplici SA. 

* respersa SA : -am ac. 

* maneat SAac. 

« Georg. IV. 87. 

BOOK IX. IX. 5-7 

The bees, therefore, which behave like this ought 5 
especially to be kept under obsei-vation, so that, 
whether they sally forth to battle (for they wage a 
kind of civil war amongst themselves and as it were 
foreign wars with other swarms) or break out in order 
to escape, the keeper may be at hand, ready for either 
event. Fighting either of the bees of one swarm 6 
quarrelling amongst themselves or of two swarms at 
variance with one another is easily quelled; for, as 
the same poet says, 

By casting of a little dust the strife 
Is stayed and laid to rest," 

or else by sprinkling over them honey-water or 
raisin-wine or some similar liquid, that is to say the 
sweet taste of things familiar to them, abates their 
wrath. The same expedients too are wonderfully 
efficacious for reconciling king-bees when they are 
at enmity ; for there are often several leaders of one 
people, and the common herd is as it were divided 
into factions by the quarrels of its chiefs. This must 
be prevented from happening often, since whole 
nations are destroyed by civil war. And so, if good 7 
feeling exists between the princes, peace continues 
and no blood is shed. If, however, you have often 
noticed them fighting a pitched battle, you will take 
care to put to death the leaders of the factions ; but 
when they are actually fighting, their battles can be 
calmed by the above-mentioned remedies. Next, 
when a host of bees has settled in a mass on the 
neighbouring branch of a leafy shrub, you should 
take notice whether the whole swarm hangs down 
in the form of a single bunch of grapes. This will 
be a sign either that there is only one king-bee in it 



inesse, aut certe plures bona fide reconciliatos ; quos 
sici patieris,2 dum in suum revolent ^ domicilium. 
8 Sin autem duobus aut etiam compluribus velut uberi- 
bus diductum * fuerit examen, ne dubitaveris et 
plures proceres et adhuc iratos esse. Atque in iis 
partibus, quibus maxime videris apes glomerari, 
requirere duces debebis. Itaque succo praedicta- 
rum herbarum, id est, melissophylli vel apiastri manu 
illita, ne ad tactum diffugiant, leviter inseres digitos, 
et diductas apes scrutaberis, donee auctorem pugnae 

X. Sunt autem hi reges maiores paulo et oblongi 
magis quam ceterae apes, rectioribus cruribus, sed 
minus amplis pinnis, pulchri coloris et nitidi, levesque 
ac sine pile, sine spicule, nisi quis forte pleniorem 
quasi capillum, quem in ventre gerunt, aculeum 
putat, quo et ipso tamen ad nocendum non utuntur. 
Quidam etiam infusci atque hirsuti reperiuntur, 
quorum pro habitu damnabis ingenium. 

2 Nam duo sunt regum facies, ita corpora plebis. 
Alter erit maculis auro squalentibus ardens 

insignis et ore 
Et rutilis clarus squamis. 

^ quos sic om. SAac. 

* patieris a : paterisque SA : petierunt(?) c. 
' revolet SAac. 

* deductum ac : ductum SA. 


BOOK IX. IX. 7-x. 2 

or, at any rate, that, if there are several, they are 
reconciled and on good terms with one another, in 
which case you will leave them as they are until they 
fly back to their abode. If, however, the swarm is 8 
divided into two or even more clusters, you need 
have no doubt that there are several chiefs and that 
they are still in an angry mood, and you will have to 
search for the leaders in the parts of the clusters 
where you see the bees most closely massed to- 
gether. Having, then, smeared your hand with 
the juice of the herbs already named, that is, 
balm and wild parsley, lest they fly away at 
your touch, you will gently insert your fingers 
and, after separating the bees from one another, 
you will search until you find the author of the 

X. Now the king-bees are slightly larger and more The king 
oblong in shape than the other bees, with straighter ^^' 
legs but less ample wings, of a beautiful shining colour 
and smooth, without any hair, and stingless, unless one 
regards as such the coarser hair-like object growing 
on their belly, of which, however, they do not make 
use to inflict a hurt. Some, too, are found of a dusky 
colour and hairy, of whose disposition you will form 
an unfavourable opinion judging from their bodily 

As two-fold are the features of the kings, 2 

So are the bodies of their subjects; one 

Will gleam with markings rough with gold, and 

With ruddy scales, and of a comely mien." 

" Parts of Vergil, Oeorg. IV. 91-7. 



Atque hie maxime probatur, qui est melior : nam 
deterior, sordido sputo similis, tarn foedus est, 
quam pulvere ab alto 
Cum venit et sicco terram spuit ore viator, 

Et, ut idem ait, 

Desidia latamque trahens inglorius alvum. 
Omnes igitur duces notae deterioris 

Dede neci, melior vacua sine regnet in aula. 

3 Qui tamen et ipse spoliandus est alis, ubi saepius 
cum examine suo conatur eruptione facta profugere. 
Nam velut quadam compede retinebimus erronem 
ducem detractis alis, qui fugae destitutus praesidio, 
finem regni non audet excedere, propter quod ne 
ditionis quidem suae populo permittit longius evagari. 
XI. Sed nonnunquam idem necandus est, cum 
Vetus alveare numero apium destituitur, atque in- 
frequentia eius alio ^ examine ^ replenda est. 
Itaque cum primo vere in eo vase nata est pullities, 
novus rex eliditur ^ ut multitudo sine discordia cum 
parentibus suis conversetur. Quod si nuUam pro- 
geniem tulerint favi, duas * vel tres alvorum plebes 

" in unum contribuere licebit, sed prius respersas dulci 
Hquore : tum demum includere, et posito cibo, dum 

^ alio scripsi : aliquo codd. 
^ examine ac : -a SA. 
^ eligitur SAac. 
* duas ac : dius SA. 


Book ix. x. 2-xi. t 

That is why this one is especially approved, being super- 
ior ; for the inferior kind, like dirty spittle, is as foul as 

The wayfarer who comes from depth of dust 
And from his parched mouth the dirt spits forth : <* 

And as the same writer says, 

With sloth inglorious his wide paunch he drags.* 

Therefore all the leaders of the baser kind 

Give them to death, and let the better prince 
Rule in the empty hall." 

Nevertheless he too must be despoiled of his wings, 3 
when he oft-times attempts to break out with his 
swarm and fly away ; for, if we strip him of his wings, 
we shall keep the vagrant chieftain as though in 
fetters chained, who, deprived of the resource of 
flight, ventures not to leave the confines of his realm 
and, for this reason, does not allow even the people 
under his sway to wander further than he is able. 

XI. But sometimes the king-bee has to be put to How to 
death when an old hive falls short of its proper com- proper Mm 
plement of bees, and its want of numbers must be pi'-m^nt of 
made up from another swarm. Therefore, when in 
the early spring a young brood is born in the hive, 
the new king-bee is squeezed to death, so that the 
multitude of bees may live with their parents without 
discord. But if the combs have produced no offspring, 
it will be open to you to bring together the population 
of two or three hives into one, but only after they 
have been sprinkled with sweet liquid ; then you can 
shut them up and, after placing food for them, keep 

• Parts of Vergil, Oeorg. IV. 96 f. 
* lb. 94. « lb. 90. 



conversari consuescant, exiguis spiramentis relictis 

2 triduo fere clausas habere. Sunt qui seniorem potius 
regem submoveant, quod est contrarium : quippe tur- 
ba vetustior, velut quidam senatus, minoribus parere 
non censent, atque imperia validiorum contumaciter 

3 spernendo ^ poenis ac mortibus afficiuntur.^ IIU 
quidem incommodo, quod iuniori ^ examini solet 
accidere, cum antiquarum apium relictus a nobis rex 
senectute defecit, et tanquam domino mortuo familia 
nimia licentia discordat, facile occurritur. Nam ex 
iis alvis, quae plures habent principes, dux unus 
eligitur: isque translatus ad eas, quae sine imperio 
sunt, rector constituitur. 

Potest autem minore molestia in iis domiciliis, 
quae aliqua peste vexata sunt, paucitas apium 

4 emendari. Nam ubi cognita est clades frequentis 
alvi, si quos habet favos, oportet considerare : turn 
deinde cerae eius quae semina pullorum continet, 
partem recidere, in qua regii generis proles animatur. 
Est autem facilis conspectu, quoniam fere in ipso 
fine cerarum velut papilla uberis apparet eminentior 
et laxioris fistulae * quam sunt reliqua foramina, 

6 quibus popularis notae pulli detinentur. Celsus 
quidem ^ affirmat in extremis favis transversas fistulas 
esse, quae contineant regios pullos. Hyginus quo- 
que auctoritatem Graecorum sequens ncgat ex 
vermiculo,* ut ceteras apes, fieri ducem, sed in 
circuitu favorum paulo maiora, quam sunt plebeii 

^ spernendo SAa : -os c. 

* afficiuntur c : afficitur SA : afBciunt a, 
' iuveniori SA : iuniori a^;. 

* apparet eminentior et laxioris ac : om. SA. 
^ quidem ac : quae quidam SA. 

* vermiculo Oesner : vernaculo SAac. 


BOOK IX. XI. 1-5 

them enclosed for about three daySj leaving only 
small breathing-holes, until they are accustomed to 
live together. There are some people who prefer 2 
to get rid of a king-bee that is old, but this is harmful ; 
for the crowd of older bees, who form a kind of senate, 
do not think fit to obey the juniors and, through 
obstinately despising the orders of those who are 
stronger than themselves, are visited with punish- 
ment and death. The trouble, indeed, which usually 3 
befalls a younger swarm, when the king of the old 
bees whom we have left in power has failed through old 
age and wild discord arises through lack of control (just 
as happens in a family when its head dies), can easily 
be met. For one leader is chosen from those hives 
which have several chiefs and is transferred to those 
which have no one to govern them, and set up as ruler. 
In those quarters which are afflicted by some pesti- 
lence the lack of bees can be remedied with less 
trouble ; for when the disaster to the crowded hive 4 
is recognized, you must examine any combs which it 
contains. You must then next cut away, from the wax 
which holds the seeds, that part in which the offspring 
of the kingly race comes to life. It is easy to see this, 
since almost at the very end of the wax there appears 
as it were the nipple of a breast projecting some- 
what and with a wider cavity than the rest of the 
holes, in which the young bees of the common kind 
are enclosed. Celsus indeed declares that there are 5 
transverse cavities in the outermost combs which 
contain the royal progeny. Hyginus, too, following 
the authority of the Greeks, says that the ruler is not 
formed, like the rest of the bees, from a small worm, 
but that, on the circumference of the combs, straight 
holes are to be found somewhat larger than those 



seminis, inveniri recta foramina repleta quasi sorde 
rubri coloris, ex qua protinus alatus rex figuretur. 

XII. Est et ilia vernaculi examinis cura, si forte 
praedicto tempore facta eruptione ^ patriam 2 fasti- 
diens^ sedem longiorem fugam denuntiavit. Id 
autem significat, cum sic apis evadit vestibulum, ut 
nulla intra revolet, sed se confestim levet sublimius. 

2 Crepitaculis aeris * aut testarum plerumque vulgo 
iacentium terreatur fugiens iuventus : eaque vel 
pavida cum repetierit alvum maternam, et in eius 
aditu glomerata pependerit, vel statim se ad proxi- 
mam frondem contulerit, protinus custos novum 
loculamentum in hoc praeparatum perlinat intrin- 
secus praedictis herbis : deinde guttis mellis resper- 
sum admoveat : tum manibus, aut etiam trulla con- 

3 gregatas apes recondat : atque, uti debet, adhibita 
cetera cura, diligenter compositum et illitum vas 
interim patiatur in eodem loco esse, dum advespe- 
rascat. Primo deinde crepusculo transferat, et re- 

4 ponat in ordinem reliquarum alvorum. Oportet 
autem etiam vacua domicilia collocata in apiariis 
habere. Nam sunt nonnulla examina, quae cum 
processerint,^ statim sedem sibi quaerant in proximo, 
eamque ^ occupent quam vacantem reperiunt. Haec 
fere acquirendarum, atque etiam retinendarum 
apium traditur cura. 

^ eruptione ac : -em SA. 
* patriam ac : -ae SA. 
^ post fastidiens add. sedens SA. 
aeris c : eris SA : aereis a. 


aeiis c : ens oj± : aereis a. 

* processerint A : -unt Sac. 

• eaque SA : eandemque a : eadcmque 

BOOK IX. XI. 5-xii. 4 

which hold the bees of common birth, filled with a 
kind of dirt of a red colour from which the winged 
king-bee is immediately formed. 

XII. Care must also be taken of the home-bred How to 
swarm, if by chance, taking a dislike to their paternal swarm^and 
abode, they break forth at the time already mentioned prevent it3 
and announce their intention of taking a more distant 
flight. This the swarm intimates when the bees so 
completely avoid the entrance to the hive that not 
a single one flies back again into it, but immediately 
rises high into the sky. The young bees who are 2 
escaping should be frightened by the rattling of brass 
or potsherds, which are usually to be found lying 
about ; and when in their alarm they have returned 
to the maternal hive and hang in a mass at the 
entrance to it or betake themselves immediately to 
the nearest foliage, the keeper should immediately 
besmear the inside of a new receptacle prepared for 
the purpose with the herbs mentioned above, and 
then, after sprinkling it with drops of honey, bring it 
near and gather the mass of bees together with his 
hands or with a scoop ; and, after taking every 3 
proper precaution, he should let the hive, after it 
has been carefully adjusted and besmeared inside, 
remain in the same place until evening begins to fall. 
Then at first twilight he should remove it and replace 
it in a row with the other hives. But you should also 4 
have empty hives placed in the apiary ; for there are 
some swarms which, as soon as they have come forth, 
immediately seek a home for themselves nearby 
and occupy one which they find empty. You now have 
a practically complete account of the measures to be 
taken for acquiring bees and keeping them in your 



XIII. Sequitur ut morbo vel pestilentia laboranti- 
bus remedia desiderentur. Pestilentiae rara in 
apibus pernicies, nee tamen aliud, quam quod in 
cetero peeore praeeepimus, quid fieri possit ^ reperio, 
nisi ut longius alvi transferantur, Morborum autem 
facilius et causae dispiciuntur, et inveniuntur medi- 

2 cinae. Maximus autem annuus ^ earum labor est 
initio veris, quo tithymali floret frutex, et quo ^ 
amara ulmi semina sua promunt. Nam quasi novis 
pomis, ita his primitivis floribus illectae avide vescun- 
tur post hibernam famem, alioqui * citra satietatem ^ 
tali non ^ nocente cibo : quo "^ cum se afFatim repleve- 
runt, profluvio alvi, nisi celeriter succurritur, intere- 
unt. Nam et tithymalus maiorum quoque anima- 
lium ventrem solvit, et proprie ulmus apium. Eaque 
causa est, cur in regionibus Italiae,^ quae sunt eius 
generis ^ arboribus consitae, raro frequentes durent 

3 apes. Itaque veris principio si medicates cibos 
praebeas, iisdem remediis et provideri ^^ potest, ne 
tali peste vexentur, et cum iam laborant, sanari. 
Nam illud quod Hyginus antiquos secutus auctores 
prodidit, ipse non expertus asseverare non audeo : ^^ 

4 volentibus tamen licebit experiri, Siquidem prae- 

^ possit Sac : potest A. 

* maximus autem annuus Schneider : maximumque vel 
minimum annuus S : maximusque vel minimus annuus Aa. 

' et quo (quos a) amara ulmi ac : quo samaras ulmis iS'^. 

* alioqui SA : alioquin ac. * sacietatem S : satietatem Aac. 

* non om. SAac. ' quo om. SAac. 

* in regionibus Italiae ac : in geniobus; taliae SA. 

* generis SAac. ^^ provideri ac : -ere SA, 
* ^ audeo SA : audet ac. 

' Minor troubles, distinct from pestilentia, which is what is 
now called ' bee-pest ' or ' foul brood.' 

* Now called ' dysentery.' 



XIII. The next thing is that remedies are needed for Kemodies 
those which are suffering from disease or pestilence, diseases of 
The ruinous disease of pestilence ' is rare in bees, nor '''^®^- 
can I find anything which ought to be done other 
than what we have prescribed in the case of the other 
animals (except that the hives should be moved 
far away) ; but the causes of common ailments " in 
bees are more easily diagnosed and remedies found 
for them. The most serious is their annual distemper 2 
at the beginning of spring, Avhen the spurge-bush 
flowers and the elms put forth their bitter blossoms ; for 
as by fresh apples, so are they allured by these early 
flowers and eat greedily of them after their winter 
hunger, such food not being hurtful when not eaten 
beyond satiety, but when they have gorged them- 
selves abundantly with it, they die from a flux of the 
belly, unless help is quickly given. For spurge 
produces looseness of the bowels in the larger 
animals also, but elm has this effect particularly on 
bees. This is the reason why bees rarely continue 
numerous in the districts of Italy which are planted 
with trees of this kind. And so at the beginning of 3 
spring, if you supply them with medicated food, by 
means of the same remedies it is possible both to 
provide against their being troubled by plague * 
of this kind and also to cure them when they are 
already suffering from it. Now I myself do not 
venture to insist on the treatment which Hyginus, 
following ancient authorities, has recorded, since I have 
not tried it ; but it is open to those who wish to do so 
to test it. For his instructions are : when a plague of 4 
this kind has attacked the bees, and the bodies are 
found for dead in heaps under the honeycombs, lay 
them aside in a dry place through the winter, and, at 



cipit apium corpora, quae cum eiusmodi pestis in- 
cessit, sub favis acervatim enectae ^ reperiuntur, 
sicco loco per hiemem reposita circa aequinoctium 
vernum, cum dementia diei suaserit, post horam 
tertiam in solem proferre, ficulneoque cinere obruere. 
Quo 2 facto, affirmat intra duas horas cum vivido 
halitu caloris animatae sunt, resumpto spiritu, si 

5 praeparatum vas obiciatur, irrepere, Nos magis ne 
intereant, quae deinceps dicturi sumus, aegris ex- 
amiinibus exhibenda ^ censemus. Nam vel grana 
mali Punici ^ tunsa et vino Amineo conspersa,^ vel 
uvae passae cum rore Syriaco ^ pari mensura '' 
pinsitae et austero vino insuccatae ^ dari debent : 
vel si per se ista frustrata sunt, omnia eadem acquis 
ponderibus in unum levigata, et fictili vase cum 
Amineo vino infervefacta, mox etiam refrigerata, 

6 ligneis canalibus apponi. Nonnulli rorem ^ marinum 
aqua mulsa decoctum, cum gelaverit, imbricibus 
infusum praebent libandum. Quidam bubulam vel 
hominis urinam, sicut Hyginus affirmat, alvis appo- 

7 nunt. Nee non etiam ille morbus maxime est con- 
spicuus, qui horridas contractasqiie carpit, cum fre- 
quenter aliae mortuarum corpora^** domiciliis efferunt, 
aliae intra tecta, ut in publico luctu, maesto silentio 
torpent. Id cum accidit, arundineis infusi canalibus 

' enectae Aac : -r S. * qui SA : quo ac. 

^ ad exhibenda SAac. * Punici ac : -a SA. 

^ consparsam SA : consparsa a : conspersa c. 

* sutorio SAac. ' mensura SAac. 

* insucatae ac : inaucae SA. 

* ros ac : roboro SA. 
^° corpora ac : -is SA. 


BOOK IX. xiii. 4-7 

about the time of the spring equinox, when the mild- 
ness of the day invites us, bring them out into the 
sunshine, after the third hour, and cover them with 
fig-wood ashes. If this is done, he declares 
that within two hours, brought to life by the 
quickening breath of the heat, they begin to 
breathe again and crawl into a vessel provided 
for this purpose, if it is placed in their way. We 5 
rather, that they may not perish, are of opinion 
that the diet, which we will forthwith describe, should 
be put before the swarms when they are sick. For 
they ought to be given either seeds of pomegranate, 
bruised and sprinkled with Aminean * wine, or 
raisins with an equal quantity of Syrian sumach ^ 
and soaked in rough wine ; or, if these are 
without effect taken separately, all the same in- 
gredients should be pounded in equal quantities into 
a single mass and boiled in an earthenware vessel with 
Aminean wine and then allowed to cool right away 
and placed before the bees in wooden troughs. Some 6 
people boil rosemary in honey-water and, when it 
has cooled, pour it into troughs and give it to the 
bees to sip. Others put the urine either of oxen or 
of human beings near the hives, as Hyginus declares. 
Moreover also, that disease is particularly remarkable 7 
which makes them hideous and shrunken and consumes 
them, when some often carry out from their abodes 
the bodies of those which have died, while others 
remain listless within their dwellings in sad silence, 
as though in time of public mourning. When this 

" From a district of Picenum (Vergil, Oeorg. II. 97). 

* Ros or, more correctly, rJms Syriacvs is said by Pliny, 
N.H. XIII. § 55, to be used as a drug, which shows that 
Syriacus is the right reading here. 



offeruntur cibi, maxime dococti mellis, et cum galla ^ 
vel arida rosa detriti. Galbanum etiam, ut eius 
odore medicentur, incendi convenit, passoque et 

8 defruto vetere fessas sustinere. Optima tamen facit 
amelli radix, cuius est frutex luteus purpureus flos : 
ea cum vetere Amineo vino decocta exprimitur, et 
ita liquatus eius succus datur. Hyginus quidem in 
eo libro, quern de apibus scripsit, Aristomachus, 
inquit, hoc modo succurrendum laborantibus ex- 
istimat : primum, ut omnes vitiosi favi tollantur, et 
cibus ex ^ integro recens ponatur ; deinde ut fumi- 

9 gentur. Prodesse etiam putat apibus vetustate 
corruptis examen novem contribuere, quamvis peri- 
culosum sit, ne seditione consumantur, verumtamen 
adiecta multitudine laetaturas.^ Sed ut Concordes 
maneant, earum apium, quae ex alio domicilio trans- 
feruntur, quasi peregrinae plebis ^ submoveri reges ^ 
debent.® Nee tamen dubium, quin frequentissimorura 
examinum favi, qui iam maturos habent pullos, 
transferri, et subici paucioribus debeant, ut tanquam 

10 novae prolis adoptione domicilia confirmentur. Sed 
et id ' cum fiet. animadvertendum est, ut eos favos 
subiciamus, quorum pulli iam sedes suas adaperiunt, 

1 galla ac : galle SA. 

- cuius et SA : cibus ex a : om. c. 

' laetaturas scrijpsi : laetatura Aac : letatur 8. 

* plebis ac : plebes SA. 
^ reges ac : regi SA. 

* debent SA : dobere ac. 

' et id a : sed id c : sedsitiS'x4. 

" See note on p. 260. 

* Of Soli in Cyprus, who, •with Philiscus of Thasos, wrote a 
book on bees (Pliny, N.H. XI. § 9), 

BOOK IX. XIII. 7-10 

happens food is offered them poured into troughs 
made of reeds, especially boiled honey pounded up 
with an oak-apple or a dried rose. It is also a good 8 
plan to burn galbanum,°' that they may be cured by 
its odour, and to keep up their strength, when they 
are exhausted, with raisin-wine and boiled-down 
must. The root of the starwort, the bushy part of 
which is yellow and its flower purple, has the best 
effect of all ; it is boiled with old Aminean wine and 
pressed and then the juice is strained and given as a 
remedy. Hyginus indeed, in the book which he 
wrote about bees, says : " Aristomachus ^ is of opinion 
that help ought to be brought to bees which are sick 
in the following manner : first, all the diseased combs 
should be removed and entirely fresh food placed for 
the bees, and then they should be fumigated." He 9 
thinks also that it is beneficial to add a new swarm 
to the bees who are wasted by old age, although 
there is a danger that they may be destroyed by 
sedition, nevertheless they are likely to rejoice be- 
cause their number is increased. But that they may 
remain in a state of concord, the kings of those bees 
which are being transferred from another hive 
ought to be put out of the way as rulers of an alien 
people. There is, however, no doubt that the 
honey-combs of the most populous swarms, which 
have young bees already matured in them, ought to 
be transferred and made subject to the less populous 
swarms that their families may be strengthened by 
the adoption, as it were, of fresh progeny. But, 10 
when this is going to be done, we must remember to 
put in the care of the old swarm those honey-combs 
in which the young ones are already opening their 
cells and putting out their heads and eating away 



et velut opercula foraminum obductas ceras erodunt ^ 
exerentes capita. Nam si favos immaturo ^ fetu 
transtulerimus, emorientur pulli, cum foveri desi- 

11 erint. Saepe etiam vitio quod ^ Graeci cfiayedaLvav^ 
vocant, intereunt. Siquidem cum sit haec apium 
consuetude, ut prius tantum cerarum confingant, 
quantum putent explere se ^ posse, non nunquam 
evenit, consummatis ® operibus cereis, ut, dum exa- 
men conquirendi ' mellis causa longius evagatur, 
subitis imbribus, aut turbinibus in silvis opprimatur, 
et maiorem partem plebis amittat : quod ubi factum 
est, reliqua ^ paucitas favis complendis non sufficit ; 
tuncque vacuae .cerarum partes^ computrescunt,!*^ et 
vitiis paulatim serpentibus, corrupto^^ melle, ipsae 

12 quoque apes intereunt. Id ne fiat, vel duo populi 
coniungi debent, qui possint adhuc integras ceras 
explere : vel si non est facultas alterius examinis, 
ipsos favos, ante quam putrescant, vacuis partibus 
acutissimo ferro liber are. Nam hoc quoque refert, 
ne admodum ^^ hebes ^^ ferramentum (quia non facile 
penetret) vehementius impressum favos sedibus 
suis commoveat : quod si factum est, apes domici- 
lium derelinquunt. 

13 Est et ilia causa interitus, quod interdum continuis 
annis plurimi flores proveniunt, et apes magis melli- 

* erodunt ac : produnt S: produn A. 
^ immaturo ac : -os SA. 

^ quod ac : om. SA . 

* (ftaythaivav A^ : ^ayihevav S : om. ac. 
^ se om. SA. 

* consumatis ac : cum summas S : consummas A. 
' conquirendi ac : -is SA. 

* roliqua ac : aliqua SA. * partes om. S. 

'" cum putrescant c : partescum iS : patescunt A : pates- 
cant a. 

^1 corrupto ac : -a SA. '* admotum SAac. 


BOOK IX. xm. 10-13 

the wax which was laid upon the top as a kind of 
covering for their holes. For if we transfer the 
honey-combs when the brood has not come to 
maturity, the young bees will die when they cease 
to be kept warm. For they often die of a distemper 
which the Greeks call phagedaina.'^ For since it is 11 
the habit of bees to construct beforehand as many 
cells as they think they can fill, it sometimes happens 
that, when their waxen structures are finished, the 
swarm, while it is roaming too far afield in search of 
honey, is overwhelmed in the woods by sudden 
showers and whirlwinds and loses most of the ordinary 
bees. When this has happened, the few that remain 
are not enough to fill the combs and then the empty 
parts of the wax cells become rotten, and since diseases 
gradually creep in, the honey becomes corrupted and 
the bees, too, themselves die. To prevent this, either 12 
the populations of two hives ought to be united, so 
that they can fill the waxen cells which are still sound, 
or, if a second swai'm is not available, we must remove 
the honey-combs from the uninhabited parts, before 
they go rotten, with a very sharp knife. For it is 
very important also that a very blunt iron tool, be- 
cause it does not easily penetrate, should not be 
pressed with great force and dislodge the honey- 
combs from their places ; for if this has happened, 
the bees desert their abode. 

There is also this cause of mortality among bees 13 
that sometimes very many flowers come up during 
several continuous years and the bees are more eager 

" Pliny (N.H. XXVI. §11) says that this word has two mean- 
ings, either (1) a rodent cancer or (2) voracious hunger. The 
first is certainly the meaning here. 

^^ hebes (Sac : hsihes A. 



ficiis quam fetibus student. Itaque nonnulli, 
quibus minor est harum rerum scientia, magnis ^ 
fructibus delectantur, ignorantes exitium apibus 
imniinere, quoniam et nimio fatigatae opere plurimae 
pereunt, nee ullis iuventutis supplementis con- 
14 frequentatae novissime reliquae intereunt. Itaque 
si tale ver incessit, ut et prata et arva ^ floribus 
abundent, utilissimum est tertio quoque die exiguis 
foraminibus relictis per quae non ^ possint exire 
alvorum exitus praecludi,* ut ab opere ^ mellifico 
avocatae, apes quoniam non sperent se posse ceras 
omnes liquoribus stipare, fetibus expleant. Atque 
haec fere sunt examinum vitio laborantium remebia. 
XIV. Deinceps ilia totius anni cura, ut idem 
Hyginus commodissime prodidit. Ab aequinoctio 
primo quod mense Martio circa viii calendas Aprilis 
in octava parte Arietis conficitur, ad exortum Ver- 
giliarum dies verni temporis habentur duodequin- 
quaginta. Per hos primum ait apes curandas esse 
adapertis alveis, ut omnia purgamenta, quae sunt 
hiberno tempore congesta, eximantur, et araneis, 
qui favos corrumpunt, detractis fumus immittatur 
factus incenso bubulo fimo.^ Hie enim quasi quadam 
2 cognatione generis maxime est apibus aptus. Ver- 
miculi quoque, qui tineae vocantur, item papiliones 

* magis SAac. 

* ut etiam prata parva a : et ut prata et arva c : et iam 
parva SA. 

* non om. SAac. 

* praecludit A. 

* ab opere ac : alveo fere SA. 

* fimo Aac : fimi S. 


BOOK IX. xiii. 13-XIV. 2 

to make honey than to produce offspring. And so 
some people, whose knowledge of these matters is 
defective, are delighted at the large production of 
honey, not being aware of the destruction which is 
threatening the bees ; for, exhausted by too much 
labour, very many of them are perishing and, as their 
numbers are not being increased by the addition of 
young stock, the rest at last die off. And so, if such 14 
a spring comes on that both the meadows and the 
cornfields abound in flowers, it is most expedient 
every third day to close the exits from the hives 
(small openings having been left through which the 
bees cannot pass), so that, called from the activity of 
making honey, since they have no hope of being able 
to fill up the waxen cells with liquid honey, they may 
fill them with offspring. Such then in general are 
the remedies for swarms suffering from some dis- 

XIV. Next comes the management of bees The man- 
throughout the year according to the excellent ble^^°* "* 
system set forth by the same Hyginus. From the 
first equinox, which takes place about the twenty- 
fourth of March in the eighth degree of the Ram, 
until the rising of the Pleiads, there are reckoned to 
be the forty-eight days of spring. During these days, 
he says, the bees ought to receive attention for the 
first time by opening the hives, so that all filth, which 
has collected during the winter season, may be re- 
moved, and, after the spiders, which rot the honey- 
combs, have been got rid of, the hives may be 
fumigated with smoke produced by burning ox-dung ; 
for this smoke is particularly well suited to bees as if 
some affinity existed between it and them. The little 
worms also which are called moth-caterpillars and also 2 




enecandi sunt : quae pestes plerumque favis adhae- 
rentes decidunt, si fimo medullam bubulam misceas, 
et his incensis ^ nidorem admoveas. Hac cura per id 
tempus quod diximus examina firmabuntur, eaque 
fortius operibus inservient. 

3 Verum maxime custodiendum est curatori, qui 
apes nutrit, cum alvos tractare debebit, uti pridie 
castus ab rebus venereis, neve temulentus,^ nee nisi 
lotus ad eas accedat, abstineatque omnibus redolenti- 
bus esculentis,^ ut sunt salsamenta, et eorum omnia 
liquamina ; itemque fetentibus acrimoniis alii vel 

4 ceparum ceterarumque * rerum similium. Duode- 
quinquagesimo ^ die ab aequinoctio verno, cum fit 
Vergiliarum exortus circa v idus Maias, incipiunt 
examina viribus et numero augeri. Sed et iisdem 
diebus intereunt quae paucas et aegras apes habent ; 
eodemque tempore progenerantur in ^ extremis 
partibus favorum amplioris magnitudinis quam sunt 
ceterae apes, eosque nonnulli putant esse reges. 
Verum quidam Graecorum auctores oXarpovs ' appel- 
lant ab eo, quod exagitent, neque patiantur examina 
conquiescere. Itaque praecipiunt eos enecari. 

5 Ab exortu Vergiliarum ad solstitium, quod fit 
ultimo mense lunio circa octavam partem Cancri, fere 
examinant alvi : quo tempore vehementius custodiri 
debent, ne novae soboles diffugiant. Tumque per- 

^ incensis ac : impensis SA. 

^ temulentus Ac : temulentis a : temolestus S. 

' estulentis a : esculentis c : exculentis S : excultis A, 

* ceterarumque ac : om. Ac. 

* unde quinquagesimo SAac. 

* in oc : et SA. 

^ olarpovs SA : om, ac, 

■ Gadflies or horseflies. 

BOOK IX. XIV. 2-5 

the developed moths must be killed. These pests which 
generally adhere to the honey-combs fall off, if you 
mix ox's marrow with dung and, after setting the 
mixture on fire, bring the smell of burning near 
them. As a result of this precaution the swarms will 
be strengthened during the period which we have 
mentioned and will apply themselves to their work 
with more vigour. 

But very great care must be taken by the man in 3 
charge, who feeds the bees, when he must handle 
the hives, that the day before he has abstained from 
sexual relations and does not approach them when 
drunk and only after washing himself, and that he 
abstain from all edibles which have a strong flavour, 
such as pickled fish and all the liquids which accom- 
pany them, and also fi'om the acrimonious stench of 
garlic and onions and all other similar things. On the 4 
forty-eighth day after the vernal equinox, when the 
rising of the Pleiads takes place about the 8th of May, 
the swarms begin to increase in strength and number ; 
but in the same period of days the swarms also which 
contain few and sickly bees die off, and at the same 
time in the extremities of the honey-combs bees are 
born of larger size than the rest, which some'people 
think are king-beec. Some writers among the 
Greeks, however, call them oistroi"' from the fact 
that they excite the swarms and do not allow them 
any rest ; therefore they recommend that they should 
be killed. 

From the rising of the Pleiads to the solstice, which 5 
takes place at the end of June in about the eighth 
degree of the Crab, the hives generally swarm. This 
is a time at which they must be very strictly watched, 
so that the young brood may not escape. Then, 



acto solstitio usque ad ortum Caniculae, qui fere dies 
triginta sunt, pariter ^ frumenta et favi demetun- 
tur.2 Sed hi quemadmodum ^ tolli debeant, mox 
dicetur, cum de confectura mellis praecipiemus. 

6 Ceterum hoc eodem tempore progenerari posse 
apes iuvenco perempto, Democritus et Mago * nee 
minus Vergilius prodiderunt. Mago quidem ventri- 
bus etiam bubulis idem fieri affirmat, quam rationem 
diligentius prosequi supervacuum puto, consentiens 
Celso, qui prudentissime ait, non tanto interitu 

7 pecus istud amitti, ut sic requirendum sit. Verum 
hoc tempore, et usque in autumni aequinoctium 
decimo quoque die alvi aperiendae et fumigandae 
sunt. Quod cum sit molestum examinibus, salu- 
berrimum tamen esse convenit. Suffitas deinde, et 
aestuantes apes refrigerare oportet, conspersis 
vacuis partibus alvorum et recentissimi rigoris aqua 
infusa : deinde si quid ablui non poterit, pinnis 
aquilae vel etiam cuius libet vastae aUtis,^ quae rigo- 

8 rem habent, emundari. Praeterea ut tineae ^ ever- 
rantur, papiUonesque enecentur, qui plerumque intra 
alvos morantes apibus exitio sunt. Nam et ceras 
erodunt, et stercore suo vermes progenerant, quos 

9 alvorufta tineas appellamus. Itaque quo tempore 
malvae florent, cum est earum ' maxima multitude, 
si vas aeneum simile ^ miliario vespere ponatur inter 

^ pariter Aac : pater et S. 

* demetuntur a : demetiuntur c : demuntur SA. 

* sed hi quern admodum ac : sed hiem admodum SA. 

* mago ac : magno SA. 

* aiitis ac : -as SA. 

* post tineae add. si apparuerint c : om. SAa. 
' eanim ac : eorum AS. 

* simile ac : -em SA. 


BOOK IX. XIV. 5-9 

when the solstice is passed and until the rising of the 
Dog-star, a period of about thirty days, the harvests 
of the cornfields and the honey-combs alike are 
gathered in. How the combs should be removed 
will be told presently when we give instructions for 
preparing honey. 

Now Democritus, Mago and likewise Vergil have 6 
recorded that bees can be generated at this same 
time of year from a slain bullock. Mago indeed also 
asserts that the same thing may be done from the 
bellies of oxen, but I consider it superfluous to deal 
in more detail with this method, since I am in 
agreement with Celsus, who very wisely says that 
there is never such mortality among these creatures, 
that it is necessary to procure them by this means. 
But at this time and until the autumn equinox, the 7 
hives ought to be opened and fumigated every tenth 
day. This, though it annoys the swarm, is generally 
considered to be very wholesome. Then after they 
have been fumigated and are still heated the bees 
ought to be cooled by sprinkling the empty parts of 
the hives and pouring in water which is cold because 
it is very freshly drawn : then when there is any- 
thing which cannot be washed away, it must be 
cleansed with the feathers of an eagle or of any other 
large bird which are of a stiff quality. Moreover 8 
caterpillars should be swept away and moths killed, 
which generally linger among the hives and are 
destructive to the bees ; for they both gnaw at the 
waxen combs and from their dung breed worms which 
we call " hive-moths." Therefore, at the season 9 
when the mallows flower, when the moths are 
most numerous, if a bronze vessel of the shape of a 
milestone is placed amongst the hives in the evening 



alvos, et in fundum eius lumen aliquod demittatur, 
undique papiliones concurrunt : ^ dumque circa 
flammulam volitant,^ aduruntur, quod ^ nee facile ex 
angusto sursum evolare,* nee rursus longius ab igne 
possunt recedere, cum latex-ibus aeneis circumveni- 
antur : ideoque propinquo ardore consumuntur. 

10 A Canicula fere post diem quinquagesimum 
Arcturus oritur, cum irroratis floribus thymi et 
cunilae thymbraeque apes mella conficiunt : idque ^ 
optimae 'notae enitescit ^ autumni aequinoctio, quod 
est ante calend. Octobris, cum octavam partem 
Librae sol attigit, Sed inter Caniculae et Arcturi 
exortum cavendum erit, ne apes intercipiantur 
violentia crabronum, qui ante alvearia plerumque 

11 obsidiantur prodeuntibus. Post Arcturi exortum 
circa aequinoctium Librae (sicut dixi) favorum 
secunda est exemptio. Ab aequinoctio deinde quod 
conficitur circa viii calend. Octobris ad Vergiliarum 
occasum diebus XL, ex floribus tamaricis "^ et silves- 
tribus frutectis apes collecta mella cibariis hiemis 
reponunt. Quibus nihil est omnino detrahendum, ne 
saepius iniuria contristatae velut desperatione rerum 

12 profugiant. Ab occasu Vergiliarum ad brumam, 
quae fere conficitur^ circa viii calend. lanuarii in 
octava parte Capricorni, iam recondito melle utuntur 
examina, eoque usque ad Arcturi exortum sustinen- 

^ concurrant SA : -cnt ac. 

* volitent SAac. 

* quod c : quoniam a : quam SA. 

* evolent SAac, 

* idque ac : atque SA. 

' enitescit SAa : emitescit c. 
' tamaricis ac : amaricis SA . 

* conficitur ac : confingitur SA. 


BOOK IX. XIV. 9-12 

and a light lowered to the bottom of it, the moths 
rush together from all sides and, flitting round the 
flame, are scorched because they cannot easily fly 
upwards from the narrow space or retire to a distance 
from the fire, since they are hemmed in by the brazen 
sides of the vessel. They are, therefore, consumed 
by the burning heat which is near them. 

About fifty days from the rising of the Dog-star 10 
is the rising of Arcturus, at which time the bees 
make their honey from the dew-drenched flowers of 
thyme and marjoram and savory. Honey of the 
finest quality is at its best at the autumn equinox, 
which falls before the first of October, when the sun 
reaches the eighth degree of Libra. But great care 
will have to be exercised between the rising of the 
Dog-star and that of Arcturus that the bees are not 
surprised by violent attacks from hornets, which 
generally lie in wait in front of the hives for them to 
come out. After the rising of Arcturus about the 11 
time of the equinox, which takes place when the sun 
is in the Balance (as I have said), the second extraction 
of honey-combs takes place. Then from the equinox, 
which occurs about September 24:th, until the set- 
ting of the Pleiads, a period of forty days, the bees 
store up the honey which they have collected for 
winter food from the tamarisk flowers and woodland 
shrubs. Of this nothing at all must be extracted, 
lest the bees, disheartened by continual ill-treat- 
ment and, as it were, in despair, should take to flight. 
From the setting of the Pleiads till the winter solstice, 12 
which falls about December 23rd in the eighth degree 
of Capricorn, the bees make use of the honey already 
stored up and are sustained by it until the rising of 
Arcturus. I am well acquainted with the reckoning 



tur. Nee me fallit Hipparchi ratio, quae docet 
solstitia et aequinoctia non octavis sed primis parti- 
bus signorum confici. Verum in hac ruris disciplina 
sequor nunc Eudoxi et Metonis ^ antiquorumque 
fastus astrologer um, qui sunt aptati ^ publicis saeri- 
ficiis : quia et notior est ista vetus agricolis concepta 
opinio ; nee tamen Hipparchi subtilitas pinguioribus, 

13 ut aiunt, rusticorum Uteris necessaria est. Ergo 
Vergiliarum occasu primo statim conveniet aperire 
alvos, et depurgare quidquid immundi est, diligenti- 
usque curare ; quoniam per tempora hiemis non 
expedit movere aut patefacere vasa. Quam ob 
causam dum adhuc autumni reliquiae sunt,^ apricis- 
simo die purgatis domiciliis opercula intus usque ad 
favos admovenda sunt, omni vacua parte sedis exclusa, 
quo facilius angustiae cavearum per hiemem con- 
calescant. Idque semper faciendum est etiam in iis 
alvis, quae paucitate plebis infrequentes sunt. 

14 Quidquid deinde rimarum est aut foraminum, luto 
et fimo bubulo mixtis illinemus extrinsecus, nee nisi 
aditus, quibus commeent, relinquemus. Et quamvis 
porticu protecta vasa nihilo minus congestu cul- 
mox'um et frondium supertegemus, quantumque res 
patietur, a frigore et tempestatibus muniemus. 

15 Quidam exemptis interaneis occisas aves intus in- 
cludunt, quae tempore hiberno plumis suis delites- 
centibus apibus praebent teporem : tum etiam si 

^ metonis ac : mentonis SA. 

2 aptati ac : aptatis 5^. 

' reliquie sunt c : relique sunt o : requiescunt SA. 

" See note on Book I. 1. 5. 
* Book I. Preface, § 32. 

BOOK IX. XIV. 12-15 

of Hipparchus," which declares that the solstices and 
equinoxes occur not in the eighth but in the first 
degrees of the signs of the Zodiac ; however, in these 
rural instructions I am now following the calendar of 
Eudoxus and Meto '^ and the old astronomers, which 
are adapted to the public festivals, because this 
view, accepted in old times, is more familiar to 
farmers and, on the other hand, the subtility of 
Hipparchus is not necessary. for mstics of less refined 
education. On the first rieiilg, uren, of the Pleiads it 13 
will be advisable immediately to open the hives and 
clear away any filth that there is and attend to them 
with particular care, since during the winter time it 
is not expedient to move or open the hives. For 
this reason, while there are some remains left of 
autumn, on a very sunny day, after the bees' habita- 
tions have been cleansed, the covers must be put in- 
side close to the honey-combs to prevent there being 
any empty space within, so that the narrow quarters of 
the hives may warm up more easily during the 
winter. This must always be done also in those 
hives which are sparsely inhabited through lack of 
bee population. 

Next any chinks or holes that there are we shall 14 
daub outside with a mixture of clay and ox-dung, 
and we shall only leave entrance by which they may 
come and go. Also, although the hives are pro- 
tected by a porch, we shall nevertheless cover them by 
heaping stalks and leaves on the top of them and 
fortify them, as far as circumstances allow, against 
cold and bad weather. Some people kill birds and, 15 
after taking out their intestines, shut the birds up in 
the hives, so that in winter time they may provide a 
gentle heat for the bees which lurk amongst their 



sunt absumpta cibaria, commode pascuntur esuri- 
entes, nee nisi ossa ^ earum relinquunt. Sin autem 
favi sufficient ^ permanent illibatae, nee quamvis 
amantissimas ^ munditiarum oflFendunt odore suo. 
Melius tamen esse * nos existimamus, tempore 
hiberno fame laborantibus ad ipsos aditus in canali- 
culis vel contusam et aqua madefactam ficum aridam, 
vel defrutum aut passum praebere. Quibus liquori- 
bus mundam lanam imbuere oportebit, ut insistentes 

16 apes quasi per siphonem succum evocent. Uvas 
etiam passas cum infregerimus, paulum aqua respersas 
probe dabimus. Atque his cibariis non solum hieme, 
sed etiam quibus temporibus, ut iam supra dixi 
tithymalus, atque etiam ulmi florebunt, sustinendae 

17 sunt. Post confectam brumam diebus fere quad- 
raginta quidquid est repositi ^ mellis, nisi liberalius 
relictum sit ^ consumunt, saepe etiam vacuatis ceris ' 
usque in ortum fere Arcturi, qui est ab idib. Febru- 
ariis, ieiunae favis accubantes toi-pent more serpen- 
tum, et quiete sua spiritum conservant, quern tamen 
ne amittant,^ si longior fames incesserit, optimum 
est per aditum vestibuli siphonibus dulcia liquamina 
immittere, et ita penuriam temporum sustinere, dum 
Arcturi ortus et hirundinis adventus commodiores 

18 polliceantur futuras tempestates. Itaque, post hoc 
tempus, cum diei permittit hilaritas, procedere 

^ ossa ac : oa S : oss A. 

" sufficere SA : sufficerent ac. 

^ amantissimas ac : mantissimas SA. 

* esse om. SA. 

* repositi oc : -& S : -am A. 

* sit om. SAac. 

' ceris Aac : cereris S. 

^ amittant ac : amittam 8 A. 


BOOK IX. XIV. 15-18 

feathers ; furthermore, if the stock of food is used 
up, they can very well feed on these birds, if they 
are hungry, and leave nothing but the bones. But 
if the honey-combs supply their needs, the birds 
remain untouched, nor do they offend the bees with 
their odour, fond though they are of cleanliness. It 
is better, however, in our opinion, when they are 
suffering from hunger in the winter time, to provide 
them with dried figs pounded and soaked in 
water or with boiled-down must or raisin-wine placed 
in little troughs at the very entrance to the hives ; 
and it will be advisable to soak clean wool in these 
liquids, so that the bees, settling upon it, may draw 
up the juice as through a small pipe. We shall also 16 
do well to give them raisins sprinkled a little with 
water after we have broken them up. With these 
foods they must be sustained not only in winter but 
also at those seasons, when, as we said just now, 
spurge and also elms are in blossom. When the 17 
height of winter is passed, for a period of about forty 
days, they use up all the honey which is stored, unless 
an unusually generous allowance is left, and often 
too, after they have emptied the waxen cells, they 
lie fasting in the honey-combs in a torpid condition, 
like snakes, until about the rising of Arcturus, which 
is on the 13th of February, and by keeping quiet 
preserve the breath of life ; in order, however, that 
they may not lose it, if too long a fast occurs, it is best 
to pour sweet liquids through the entrance of the 
porch by means of small pipes and thus support them 
during the temporary scarcity until the rising of 
Arcturus and the coming of the swallow with promise 
of more favourable weather for the future. And so, 18 
after this time, when the more cheerful weather 



audent in pascua. Nam ab ^ aequinoctio verno sine 
cunctatione iam passim vagantur, et idoneos ad 
fetum decerpunt flores, atque intra tecta com- 

Haec observanda per anni tempora diligentissime 
Hyginus praecepit. Ceterum ilia Celsus adicit, 
paucis locis eam felicitatem suppetere,^ ut apibus alia 
pabula hiberna atque alia praebeantur aestiva. 

19 Itaque quibus locis post veris tempora flores idonei 
deficiunt, negat oportere immota examina relinqui, 
sed vernis pastionibus absumptis in ea loca trans- 
ferri, quae serotinis floribus thymi et origani thym- 
braeque benignius apes alere possint. Quod fieri ait 
et Achaiae regionibus, ubi transferuntur in Atticas 
pastiones, et Euboea, et rursus in insulis Cycladibus, 
cum ex aliis transferuntur^ Scyrum, nee minus in 
Sicilia, cum ex reliquis eius partibus in Hyblam * 

20 confei'untur. Idemque ait ex floribus ceras fieri, ex 
matutino rore mella, quae tanto ^ meliorem quali- 
tatem capiunt, quanto iucundiore sit materia cera 
confecta. Sed ante translationem diligenter alvos 
inspicere praecipit, veteresque et tineosos, et 
labantes ^ favos eximere : nee nisi paucos et optimos 
reservare, ut simul etiam ex meliore flore quam 

^ ab ac : om. SA. 

* felicitatem suppetere ac : om. SA. 

^ transferuntur c : transportantur SAa. 

* hyblam A : hybleam Sc : bibleaem a. 

* ex matutino— tanto om. A. 

* labantis ac : labentis A : laventis S. 

BOOK IX. XIV. 18-20 

allows it, the bees venture to go forth to their 
pastures ; for after the spring equinox they are 
already roaming about everywhere without hesita- 
tion and plucking the produce of flowers which are 
suitable for the production of their young and 
carrying it into their dwellings. 

These are the principles which Hyginus recom- 
mends for the most careful observation throughout 
the seasons of the year, but Celsus makes the follow- 
ing additions. He says that only in a few places are 
conditions so favourable as to provide different foods 
for the bees in winter and summer, and that, there- 19 
fore, in places where suitable flowers are lacking after 
the season of spring, the swarms ought not to be left 
without being moved, but, when the spring foods are 
consumed, they should be transferred to places which 
can offer the bees a more liberal diet from the late- 
flowering blossoms of thyme, marjoram and savory. 
This, he says, is the practice both in the regions of 
Achaia, where the bees are transferred to pastures 
in Attica, and in Euboea, and also in the islands of 
the Cyclades, when they are transferred from other 
islands to Scyros, and likewise in Sicily, when they 
are moved from the other parts of the island to Hybla. 20 
The same writer says that the waxen cells are made 
from flowers and the honey from morning dew, and 
that, the pleasanter the material from which the wax 
is made, the better the quality which the honey 
acquires. He gives instructions to examine the 
hives carefully before transferring them and to 
remove honey-combs which are old and wormy 
and falling to pieces, and to keep only a few and 
these the best, so that as many as possible may be 
made at the same time from the better flowers. He 



plurimi fiant : eaque vasa, quae ^ quis transferre 
velit, non nisi noctibus et sine concussione portare. 

XV. Mox vere transacto sequitur, ut dixi, mellis 
vindemia,2 propter quam totius anni labor exercetur. 
Eius maturitas intelligitur cum animadvertimus 
fucos ab apibus expelli ae fugari. Quod est genus 
amplioris incrementi, simillimum api, sed, ut ait 
Vergilius, ignavum pecus, et immune,^ sine industria 

2 favis assidens. Nam neque alimenta congerit, 
et ab aliis invecta consumit. Verumtamen ad 
procreationem sobolis conferre aliquid hi fuci viden- 
tur insidentes seminibus, quibus apes figurantur. 
Itaque ad fovendam novam prolem familiarius 
admittuntur. Exclusis deinde puUis, extra tecta 
proturbantur, et ut idem ait, a praesepibus arcentur. 

3 Hos quidam praeeipiunt in totum exterminari 
oportere. Quod ego Magoni consentiens faciendum 
non censeo, verum saevitiae modum adhibendum. 
Nam nee ad occidionem gens interimenda est, ne 
apes inertia laborent, quae, cum fuci aliquam partem 
cibariorum absumunt, sarciendo damna fiunt agi- 
liores : nee rursus multitudinem praedonum coales- 
cere patiendum est, ne universas opes alienas diri- 

4 piant. Ergo cum rixam fucorum et apium saepius 
committi videris, adapertas alvos inspicies,* ut sive 

* eaque vasa quae Aac : eaqueus aquae S. 
^ vindemia ac : -am SA. 

' et immune c : etiam rure SAa. 

* inspicies a : aspicies c : inspiciens 8A. 

« Georg. IV. 168. * lb. 


BOOK IX. XIV. 20-XV. 4 

also says that the hives which anyone wishes to trans- 
fer should only be moved at night and without being 

XV. Presently, when spi-ing is over, as I have said, of the 
the harvesting of the honey follows, with a view to ^neyf ° 
which the whole year's work is carried out. We con- 
clude that the honey is ripe when we notice that the 
drones are being expelled and put to flight by the 
bees. They are insects of a larger growth, very like 
bees, but as Vergil* says " a lazy herd " and idle, 
sitting near the honey-combs without doing any 
work ; for they do not collect food but consume that 2 
which is brought in by others. Nevertheless these 
drones seem to contribute something to the pro- 
creation of the younger generation by sitting on the 
seeds from which the bees are formed, and so they 
are admitted on terms of some intimacy in order to 
sit upon the eggs which produce the new offspring; 
then, when the young bees are hatched, they are 
hustled out of the hives and, as the same poet says, 
" they are kept away from the fold." * Some 3 
people recommend that they should be entirely 
exterminated; but I agree with Mago that this 
should not be done, but that a limit ought to be set 
to cruelty. For the race ought not to be wholly 
destroyed, lest the bees suffer from idleness, since, 
when the drones consume part of their provisions, 
they become more active in repairing their losses ; 
but, on the other hand, a crowd of robbers ought not 
to be allowed to form a band, lest they plunder all 
the wealth of others. Therefore, when you see bees 4 
and drones frequently quarrelling with one another, 
you will open and inspect the hives, so that, if the 
honey-combs are half-full, they may be let alone for 



semipleni favi sint, differantur : sive iam liquore 
completi, et superpositis ceris tamquam operculis 
obliti, demetantur. 

Dies vero castrandi fere matutinus occupandus est. 
Neque enim convenit aestu medio exasperatas apes 
lacessiri.^ Duobus autem ferramentis ad hunc ^ 
usum opus est, sesquipedali vel paulo ampliore 
mensura factis, quorum alterum sit culter oblongus ^ 
ex utraque parte acie lata, uno capite * aduncum 
habens ^ scalprum ; alterum prima fronte planum et 
acutissimum : quo melius hoc favi succidantur,^ illo 
eradantur, et quidquid sordidum deciderit, attra- 

5 hatur. Sed ubi a posteriore parte, qua nullum est 
vestibulum, patefactum fuerit alveare, fumum ad- 
movebimus factum galbano vel arido fimo. Ea porro 
vase fictili prunis immixta conduntur : idque vas 
ansatum simile angustae ollae figuratur, ita ut ' 
altera pars sit acutior, per quam modico foramine 
fumus emanet : altera latior, et ore paulo latiore,^ 

6 per quam possit afflari. Talis olla cum est alveari ' 
obiecta, spiritu admoto ^° fumus ad apes promovetur.^^ 
Quae confestim nidoris impatientes in priorem partem 
domicilii, et interdum extra vestibulum se conferunt. 
Atque ubi potestas facta est liberius inspiciendi, fere, 
si duo sunt examina, duo genera quoque favorum 

1 lacessiri ac : lacessi SA. 

2 hue S : hunc Aac. 

^ post oblongus add. alterum SA : om. ac, 

* capite Sac : capit A. 
' habens om. SAac. 

* succidantur ac : subsecentur SA. 
' ut ac : om. SA. 

* latiore <S^ : paten tiore a : potentiore c. 

* alveario ac : albario SA. 
'" admoto ac : admotu SA. 

^* promovetur ac : promeourunt ( ?) 5 : promousit ( ?) ^. 

BOOK IX. XV. 4-6 

a time, but, if they are already full of liquid and 
sealed up with wax, just as if they had lids over 
them, the harvest of honey may be gathered in. 

The morning should generally be chosen for the 
removal of the honey ; for it is not advisable that the 
bees should be provoked when they are already 
exasperated by the midday heat. Two iron instru- 
ments are required for this operation, measuring a 
foot and a half or a little more, one of which should 
be an oblong knife with a broad edge on both sides 
and having a curved scraper at one extremity, and 
the other flat in front and very sharp, so that with 
the latter the honey-combs may be cut out better, 
and that with the former they be scraped off and 
any filth which has fallen upon them may be cleaned 
away. When the hive has been opened from the 5 
back, where there is no porch, we shall apply smoke 
made from galbanum <* or from dried dung ; moreover, 
these ingredients are mixed with live coals and put 
into an earthenware vessel. This vessel has handles 
and is shaped like a narrow pot in such a way that 
one end of it is shai-per through which the smoke may 
issue through a small aperture, while the other end 
is broader and has a rather wider mouth, so that the 
coals can be blown upon through it. When a pot of 6 
this kind is applied to a hive, the smoke is conveyed 
to the bees by the movement set up by the breath. 
The bees, unable to endure the smell of burning, 
immediately move to the front part of their abode 
and sometimes outside the porch. When there is 
an opportunity of inspecting the hives more freely, 
usually, if there are two swarms, two kinds of 

" See note on Chapter 13. § 7. 



7 inveniuntur. Nam etiam in concordia ^ suum quae- 
que plebs morem figurandi ceras fingendique servant. 
Sed omnes favi semper cavearum tectis et paululum 
ab lateribus adhaerentes dependent, ita ne solum 
contingant : quoniam id praebet examinibus iter. 

8 Ceterum figura cerarum talis est, qualis et habitus 
domicilii. Nam et quadrata et rotunda spatia nee 
minus longa suam speciem velut formae quaedam 
favis praebent. Ideoque non semper eiusdem ^ 
figurae reperiuntur favi. Sed hi qualescunque sint ^ 
non omnes eximantur. Nam priore messe, dum 
adhuc rura pastionibus abundant, quinta pars favo- 
rum ; posteriore, cum iam metuitur hiems, tertia 

9 relinquenda est. Atque hie tamen modus non est in 
omnibus regionibus certus : quoniam pro multitudine 
florum et ubertate pabuli apibus consulendum est. 
Ac si cerae dependentes in longitudinem decurrunt, 
eo ferramento, quod est simile cultro, insecandi sunt 
favi, deinde subiectis duobus bracchiis excipiendi, 
atque ita promendi : sin autem transversi tectis 
cavearum inhaerent, tunc scalprato ferramento est 

10 opus, ut adversa fronte impressi desecentur. Eximi 
autem debent veteres vel vitiosi, et relinqui maxime 
integri ac melle pleni, et siqui * pullos continent, ut 
examini progenerando reserventur. 

1 in concordia ac : in cordia 8 A. 

* eiusdem ac : eiua quern SA, 
' sint Aac : sunt 8. 

* f.08t siqui add, tamen 8Aac. 


Book 1%. xv. 6 lo 

honey-combs are also found ; for even if they hve in 7 
harmony together, each community keeps to its 
own manner of shaping and constructing its waxen 
cells. All the combs, however, always hang down 
from the roofs of the hives, adhering very little to 
the sides and in such a way as not to touch the 
bottom, thus leaving a passage for the swarms. But 8 
the shape of the wax cells depends on the nature of 
the bee-house ; for square and round and also long 
dimensions impose their own shapes upon the honey- 
combs as if they were moulds, and that is why the 
honey-combs are not always found to be of the same 
shape. But of whatever kind they are, they should 
not all be removed ; for at the first harvesting of 
honey, when the country still provides plenty of 
food, one-fifth of the honey-combs must be left ; at 
the later harvesting, when the winter is already 
causing apprehension, a third part should be left. 
This, however, is not a fixed rule for all districts, since 9 
plans for the bees must be dependent on the abund- 
ance of flowers and the I'ichness of the food available. 
If the hanging waxen cells run into length, the combs 
must be cut with the iron tool which resembles a 
knife and must be received by putting your two arms 
underneath them, and so removed ; but if they run 
horizontally and keep close to the roofs of the hives, 
then you must use the scraping instrument, so that 
they may be cut down by the pressure exerted on 
the side which faces you. But old and defective 10 
honey-combs ought to be removed, and those 
which are soundest and full of honey should be 
left, as also those which contain young bees, so 
that they may be preserved for propagating a 



Omnis deinde copia favorum conferenda est in 
eum locum, in quo mel conficere voles, linendaque 
sunt diligenter foramina parietum et fenestrarum, 
nequid sit apibus pervium, quae velut amissas opes 
suas pertinaciter vestigant, et persecutae consumunt. 
Itaque ex iisdem rebus fumus ^ etiam in aditu loci 
faciendus est, qui propulset intrare tentantes.^ 

11 Castratae deinde alvi si quae transversos favos in 
aditu habebunt, convertendae erunt, ut alterna vice 
posteriores partes vestibula ^ fiant. Sic enim proxime 
cum * castrabuntur, veteres potius favi quam novi 
eximentur, ceraeque novabuntur,^ quae tanto de- 
teriores sunt, quanto vetustiores. Quod si forte 
alvearia circumstructa et immobilia fuerint, curae 
erit nobis, ut semper modo a posteriore modo a 
priore ^ parte castrentur. Idque neri ante diei 
quintam horam debebit, deinde repeti vel post 

12 nonam, vel postero mane. Sed quotcunque favi 
sunt demessi, eodem die, dum tepent, conficere mel 
convenit. Saligneus qualus, vel tenui vimine rarius 
contextus saccus, inversae metae similis, qualis est 
quo vinum liquatur, obscuro loco suspenditur : in 
eum deinde carptim ' congeruntur favi.^ Sed adhi- 
benda cura est, ut separentur eae partes cerarum, 
quae vel pullos habent, vel rubras ^ sordes. Nam 
sunt mali saporis, et succo suo mella corrumpunt. 

13 Deinde ubi liquatum mel in subiectum alveum de- 

* fumus ac : fumis S : om. A. 

* itaque — tentantes om. A. 

* vestibula c : -o SAa. 

* cum ac : om. SA. 

* veteres — renovabuntur ac : om. SA. 

* modo a priore Aac : om. S. 
' carptim ac : -i SA. 

' favi ac : favis 8A. » rubras ac : nibas 8A. 


BOOK IX. XV. 10-13 

Next the whole store of honey-combs must be 
collected in the place where you intend to make the 
honey, and the holes in the walls and windows must 
be carefully daubed over, so that there may be no 
passage for the bees which obstinately search as if 
they were looking for lost wealth, and, if they track 
down the honey, eat it up. Smoke must, therefore, 
also be kindled of the same materials as before at the 
entrance of the place to drive away those that are 
trying to get in. Then those hives from which the 11 
honey has been cut out, if they have combs lying 
across the entrance, will have to be turned round, so 
that the hinder parts in their turn become entrances ; 
for in this way, the next time the honey is taken, the 
old combs rather than the new will be removed, and 
the waxen cells, which deteriorate as they grow 
older, will be renewed. But if the hives happen to 
be surrounded by walls and cannot be moved, we 
must take care that the combs are cut out, sometimes 
from the back and sometimes from the front. This 
process will have to be carried out before the fifth 
hour of the day and then repeated after the ninth 
hour or else next morning. But whatever be the 12 
number of honey-combs that are harvested, you 
should make the honey on the same day, while they 
are still warm. A wickerwork basket or a bag rather 
loosely woven of fine withies in the shape of an in- 
verted cone, like that through which wine is strained, 
is hung up in a dark place, and then the honey-combs 
are heaped in it one by one. But care must be taken 
that those parts of the waxen cells, which contain 
either young bees or dirty red matter are separated 
from them, for they have an ill flavour and corrupt 
the honey with their juice. Then, when the honey 13 


fluxit, transfertur ^ in vasa fictilia, quae paucis 
diebus aperta sint, dum musteus fructus defer- 
vescat, isque saepius ligula purgandus est. Mox 
deinde fragmina favorum, quae in sacco remanserunt, 
retractata ^ exprimuntur : atque id ^ secundae notae 
mel defluit, et ab diligentioribus seorsum reponitur, 
ne quod est primi saporis hoc adhibito fiat deterius, 

XVI. Cerae fructus quamvis aeris exigui non 
tamen omittendus est, cum sit eius usus ad multa 
necessarius. Expressae favorum reliquiae, postea- 
quam diligenter aqua dulci ^ perlutae sunt, in vas 
aeneum coniciuntur : adiecta ^ deinde aqua liquantur 
ignibus. Quod ubi factum est, cera per stramenta * 
vel iuncos defusa colatur, atque iterum similiter de 
integro coquitur, et in quas quis voluit formas aqua 
prius ' adiecta defunditur : eamque concretam facile 
est eximere, quoniam qui subest humor non patitur 
formis inhaerere. 

Sed iam consummata disputatione de villatici 
pecudibus atque pastionibus, quae reliqua nobis rus- 
ticarum rerum pars subest, de cultu hortorum, Publi 
Silvine, deinceps ita, ut et tibi et Gallioni nostro 
complacuerat, in carmen conferemus. 

^ transfertur ac : transferetxu- SA. 

* remanserunt detracta ac : retractata remanserunt SA. 

* id ac : in SA. 

* dulci ac : dulcis S : om. A. 

* adiecta — aqua om. A. 

* stragmenta a : stramenta c : stramen SA. 
' aqua prius ac : aquarius SA. 

' Brother of the younger Seneca and uncle of Lucan the 
poet. He is mentioned in Acts of the Apostles xviii, 12 ftg 
proconsular governor of Achaia. 


BOOK IX. XV. 13-XVI. 2 

has been strained and has flowed down into the basin 
put underneath to catch it, it is transferred to 
earthenware vessels which are left open for a few 
days until the fresh produce ceases to ferment ; and 
it must be frequently skimmed with a ladle. Next 
the fragments of the honey-combs, which have re- 
mained in the bag, are handled again and the juice 
squeezed out of them. What flows from them is 
honey of the second quality and is stored apart by 
itself by the more careful people, lest any of the 
honey of the best flavour should deteriorate by having 
this brought into contact with it. 

XVl. The yield of wax, though of little monetary Of the 
value, must not be overlooked, since its use is neces- wax.'"^ ° 
sary for many purposes. The remains of the honey- 
combs, when they have been well squeezed, after 
being carefully washed in fresh water, are thrown 
into a brazen vessel; water is then added to them 
and they are melted over a fire. When this has been 
done, the wax is poured out and strained through 
straw or rushes. It is then boiled over again a 
second time in the same manner and poured in such 
moulds as one has thought suitable, water having 
been first added. When the wax has hardened, it is 
easy to take it out, since the liquid which remains in 
the bottom does not allow it \o stick to the moulds. 

Having now finished the discussion of the animals 2 
kept at the farmhouse and their feeding, the part of 
husbandry which still remains to be treated, namely 
the cultivation of gardens, we -will now present in 
verse in accordance with the desire which both you, 
Publius Silvinus, and our friend Gallio '^ were pleased 
to express. 


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Latin Authors 

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6th Imp. revised.) 
Tacitus : Dialogus. Sir Wm. Peterson. Agbicola and 

Gebmani^. Maurice Hutton. {6th Imp.) 
Tacitus : Histories and Annals. C. H. Moore and J. Jack- 
son. 4 Vols. (Vols. I. and II. 3rd Imp., Vols. III. and IV. 

2nd Imp.) 
Terence. John Sargeaunt. 2 Vols. {1th Imp.) 
Tebtullian : Apologia and De Spectaculis. T. R. Glover. 

MiNucius Felix. G. H. Rendall. (2nd Imp.) 
Valerius Flaccus. J. H. Mozley. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
Varro : De Lingua Latin a. R. G. Kent. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp. 

revised. ) 
Velleius Patekculus and Res Gestae Divi Augusti. F. W. 

Shipley. (2nd Imp.) 
Virgil. H. R. Fairclough. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. I8th Imp., Vol. II. 

lith Imp. revised.) 
Viteuvius : De Abchitectura. F. Granger. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 

2nd Imp.) 

Greek Authors 

Achilles Tatius. S. Gaselee. {2nd Imp.) 

Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus and Onasandeb. The 

Illinois Greek Club. {2nd Imp.) 
Aeschines. C.D.Adams. {2nd Imp.) 
Aeschylus. H. Weir Smyth. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 6th Imp., 

Vol. II. 5th Imp.) 
Alciphron, Aelian, Philostbatus Letters. A. R. Benner 

and F. H. Fobes. 
Andocides, Antiphon. Cf. Minor Attic Obators. 
Apollodorus. Sir James G. Frazer. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd 

Imp., Vol. II. 2nd Imp.) 
Apollonius Rhodius. R. C. Seaton. {ith Imp.) 
The Apostolic Fathers. Kirsopp Lake. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 

Sth Imp., Vol. II. 6th Imp.) 
Appian : Roman History. Horace White. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. 

3rd Imp., Vols. II., III., and IV. 2nd Imp.) 
Aratus. Cf. Callimachtjs. 
Aristophanes. Benjamin Bickley Rogers. 3 Vols. Verse 

trans. {5th Imp. ) 
Aristotle : Art of Rhetoric. J. H. Freese. (3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Athenian Constitution, Eudemian Ethics, 

Vices and Virtues. H. Rackham. {3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle: Generation of Animals. A. L. Peck. {2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle: Metaphysics. H. Tredennick. 2 Vols. {3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Meteorologica. H. D. P. Lee. 
Aristotle : Minor Works. W. S. Hett. On Colours, On 

Things Heard, On Physiognomies, On Plants, On Marvellous 

Things Heard, Mechanical Problems, On Indivisible Lines, 

On Situations and Names of Winds, On Melissus, Xenophanes, 

and Gorgias. {2nd Im,p.) 
Aristotle : Nicomachean Ethics. H. Rackham. {5th Imp. 

revised. ) 
Aristotle : Oeconomica and Magna Moralia. G. C. Arm- 
strong; (with Metaphysics, Vol. II.). {3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle : On the Heavens. W. K. C. Guthrie. (3rd Imp. 

revised. ) 
Abistotle : On the Soul, Parva Natubalia, On Bbeath. 

W. S. Hett. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
Abistotle : Organon. H. P. Cooke and H. Tredennick. 3 

Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle: Parts of Animals. A. L. Peck; Motion and 

Progression of Animals. E. S. Forster. (3rd Imp. re- 
Abistotle : Physics. Rev. P. Wicketeed and F. M. Cornford. 

2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp., Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle: Poetics and Longinus. W. Hamilton Fyfe; 

Demetrius on Style. W. Rhys Roberts. {5th Imp. revised.) 
Abistotle : Politics. H. Rackham. {Uh Imp. revised.) 
Aristotle : Problems. W. S. Hett. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp. 



Abistotle : Rhetobica Ad Alexandkum (with Problems. 

Vol. II.). H. Rackham. 
Abbian : History of Alexandeb and Indica. Rev. E. Iliffe 

Robson. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd /mp., Vol. II. 2nd /mp.) 
Athenaeus : Deipnosophistae. C. B. Gulick. 7 Vols. 

(Vols. I., v., and VI. 2nd Imp.) 
St. Basil : Letters. R. J. Deferrari. 4 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Callimachus and Lycophron. A. W. Mair; Abatus. G. R. 

Mair. (2nd Imp.) 
Clement op Alexandbia. Rev. G. W. Butterworth. (3rd 



Daphnis and Chloe. Thornley's Translation revised by 

J. M. Edmonds : and Paethenius. S. Gaselee. (3rd Imp.) 
Demosthenes I : Olynthiacs, Philippics and Minob Oba- 

tions. I.-XVII. and XX. J. H. Vince. (2nd Imp.) 
Demosthenes II : De Coeona and De Falsa Legation e. 

C. A. Vince and J. H. Vince. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Demosthenes III : Meidias, Andbotion, Abistoceates, 

Timoceates and Aeistoqeiton, I. and II. J. H. Vince. 

(2nd Imp.) 
Demosthenes IV- VI : Pbivate Obations and In Neaebam. 

A.T.Murray. (Vol. IV. 2nd /mp.) 
Demosthenes VII : Funeeal Speech, Ebotic Essay, Exordia 

and Lettebs. N. W. and N. J. DeWitt. 
Dio Cassius : Roman Histoby. E. Gary. 9 Vols. (Vols. L. 

and II. 3rd Imp., Vols. III. and IV. 2nd Imp.) 
Dio Chbysostom. J. W. Cohoon and H. Lamar Crosby. 6 Vols. 

(Vols. I.-III. 2nd Imp.) 
DiODOEUs SicuLus. 12 Vols. Vols. I.-VI. C. H. Oldfather. 

Vol. VII. C. L. Sherman. Vols. IX. and X. R. M. Geer. 

(Vols. I.-III. 2nd Imp.) 
Diogenes Laebtius. R. D. Hicks. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. ^th Imp., 

Vol.11. 3rd Imp.) 
DioNYSius OF Halicaenassus : Roman Antiquities. Spel- 

man's translation revised by E. Gary. 7 Vols. (Vols. I.-IV. 

2nd Imp.) 
Epictetus. W. a. Oldfather. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
EuEiPiDES. A. S. Way. 4 Vols. (Vols. I. and II. 7th Imp., 

III. and IV. 6th Imp. ) Verse trans. 
EtJSEBius : Ecclesiastical Histoby. Kirsopp Lake and 

J. E. L. Oulton. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vol. II. 4th Imp.) 
Galen : On the Natueal Faculties. A. J. Brock. (4<fe Imp.) 
The Geeek Anthology. W. R. Paton. 5 Vols. (Vols. I. and 

II. 5th Imp., Vol. III. 4th Imp., Vols. IV. and V. 3rd Imp.) 
Geeek Elegy and Iambus with the Anaceeontea. J. M. 

Edmonds. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vol. II. 2nd Imp.) 
The Geeek Bucolic Poets (Theoceitus, Bion, Moschus). 

J. M. Edmonds. (7th Imp. revised.) 
Geeek Mathematical Wobks. Ivor Thomas. 2 Vols. (2nd 

Hebodes. Cf. Theophbastus : Chaeactebs. 

Hekodotus. a. D. Godley. 4 Vols. (Vols. I.-III. ^th Imp., 

Vol. IV. 3rd Imp.) 
Hesiod and The Homekio Hymns. H. G. Evelyn White. 

{1th Im,p. revised and enlarged.) 
Hippocrates and the Fragments of Heracleitus. W. H. S. 

Jones and E. T. Withington. 4 Vols. {3rd Imp.) 
Homer : Iliad. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 7lh Imp., 

Vol. II. 6th Imp.) 
Homer : ODYSSEy. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. {&th Imp.) 
IsAEUS. E. W. Forster. {2nd Imp.) 

IsocRATES. George Norlin and LaRue Van Hook. 3 Vols. 
St. John Damascene : Barlaam and Ioasaph. Rev. G. R. 

Woodward and Harold Mattingly. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
JosEPHUS. H. St. J. Thackeray and Ralph Marcus. 9 Vols. 

Vols. I.-VII. (Vol. V. 3rd Imp., Vol. VI. 2nd Imp.) 
Julian. Wilmer Cave Wright. 3 Vols. (Vols. I. and II. 3rd 

Imp., Vol. III. 2nd Imp.) 
LuciAN. A. M. Harmon. 8 Vols. Vols. I.-V. (Vols. I. and 

II. 4th Imp., Vol. III. 3rd Imp., Vols. IV. and V. 2nd Imp.) 
Lycophron. Cf. Callimachus. 
Lyra Graeca. J. M. Edmonds. 3 Vols. (Vol. I. ith Imp., 

Vol. II. revised and enlarged, and III. 3rd Imp.) 
Lysias. W. R. M. Lamb. {2nd Imp.) 
Manetho. W. G. Waddell : Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. F. E. 

Robbins. (2nd Imp.) 
Marcus Aurelius. C. R. Haines. {4th Imp. revised.) 
Menander. F. G. Allinson. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Minor Attic Orators (Antiphon, Andocides, Lycurqus, 

Demades, Dinarchus, Hypereides). K. J. Maidment and 

J. O. Burrt. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 2nd Imp.) 
NoNNOS : Dionysiaca. W. H. D. Rouse. 3 Vols. (Vol. III. 

2nd Imp.) 
Oppian, Colluthus, Tryphiodorus. a. W. Mair. (2nd Imp.) 
Papyri. Non-Literary Selections. A. S. Hunt and C. C. 

Edgar. 2 Vols. (Vol. 1. 2nd Imp.) Literary Selections. 

Vol. I. (Poetry). D. L. Page. (3rd Imp.) 
Parthenius. Cf. Daphnis and Chloe. 
Pausanias : Description of Greece. W. H. S. Jones. 5 

Vols, and Companion Vol. arranged by R. E. Wycherley. 

(Vols. I. and III. 3rd Imp., Vols. II., IV. and V. 2nd Imp.) 
Philo. 10 Vols. Vols. I.-V. ; F. H. Colson and Rev. G. H. 

Whitaker. Vols. VI.-IX. ; F. H. Colson. (Vols. I.-III., 

V.-IX. 2nd Imp., Vol. IV. 3rd Imp.) 
Philo : two supplementary Vols. {Translation only.) Ralph 

Philostratus : The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. F. C. 

Conybeare. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 4th Imp., Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Philostratus: Imagines; Callistratus : Descriptions. 

A. Fairbanks. 
Philostratus and Eunapius : Lives of the Sophists. 

Wilmor Cave Wright. (2nd Imp.) 
Pindar. Sir J. E. Sandys. {Tlh Imp. revised.) 

Plato : Charmides, Alcibiades, Hipparchus, The Lovers, 

Theages, Minos and Epinomis. W. R. M. Lamb. (2nd 

Plato : Ckatylus, Parmenides, Greater Hippias, Lesseb 

HippiAS. H. N. Fowler. (4</i Imp.) 
Plato : Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus. 

H. N. Fowler. {VUfi. Imp.) 
Plato : Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus. W. R. M. 

Lamb. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Plato : Laws. Rev. R. G. Bury. 2 Vols. (3rd Imp.) 
Plato : Lysis, Symposium, Gorgias. W. R. M. Lamb. {5th 

Imp. revised.) 
Plato : Republic. Paul Shorey. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. 5th Imp., 

Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Plato : Statesman, Philebus. H. N. Fowler; Ion. W. R. M. 

Lamb. (4</i Imp.) 
Plato : Theaetetus and Sophist. H. N. Fowler, {ith Imp.) 
Plato : Timaeus, Critias, Clitopho, Menexenus, Epistulae. 

Rev. R. G. Bury. (3rd hnp.) 
Plutarch: Moralia. 14 Vols. Vols. I.-V. F. C. Babbitt; 

Vol. VI. W. C. Helmbold ; Vol. X. H. N. Fowler. (Vols. I., 

III., and X. 2nd Imp.) 
Plutarch : The Parallel Lives. B. Perrin. 1 1 Vols. 

(Vols. I., II., VI., VII., and XI. 3rd Imp.. Vols. III.-V. and 

VIII.-X. 2nd Imp.) 
PoLYBius. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Procopius : History of the Wars. H. B. Dewing. 7 Vols. 

(Vol. I. 3rd Imp., Vols. II.-VII. 2nd Imp.) 
Ptolemy : Tetrabiblos. Of. Manetho. 

QuiNTUS Smyrnaeus. a. S. Way. Verse trans. (2nd Imp.) 
Sextus Empiricus. Rev. R. G. Bury. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. 3rd 

Imp., III. 2nd Imp.) 
Sophocles. F. Storr. 2 Vols. (Vol. L lOth Imp., Vol. II. 6/A 

Imp.) Verse trans. 
Strabo : Geography. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. (Vols. I., V., 

and VIII. 3rd Imp., Vols. II., III., IV., VI., and VII. 2nd Imp.) 
Theophbastus : Characters. J. M. Edmonds. Herodes, 

etc. A. D. Knox. (3rd Imp.) 
Theophrastus : Enquiry into Plants. Sir Arthur Hort, 

Bart. 2 Vols. {2nd Imp.) 
Thucydides. C. F. Smith. 4 Vols. (Vol. I. ith Imp., Vols. 

II., III., and IV. 3rd Imp. revised.) 
Tryphiodorus. Of. Oppian. 
Xenophon : Cyropaedia. Walter Miller. 2 Vols. (Vol. I. Uh 

Imp., Vol. II. 3rd Imp.) 
Xenophon : Hellenica, Anabasis, Apology, and Symposium. 

C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 3 Vols. (Vols. I. and III. 

3rd Imp., Vol. II. ith Imp.) 
Xenophon : Memorabilia and Oeconomicus. E. C. Marchant. 

(3rd Imp.) 
Xenophon : Scripta Minora. E. C. Marchant. (2nd Imp.). 


Greek Authors 

Aristotle : De Mundo, etc. D. Furley and E. M. Forster. 
Aristotle : History of Animals. A. L. Peck. 
Plotinus : A. H. Armstrong. 

Latin Authors 

St. Augustine : City of God. 

Cicero : Pro Sestio, In Vatinium, Pro Caelio, De Provinciis 
CoNsuLARiBus, Pro Balbo. J. H. Frecse and R. Gardner. 
Phaedrus. Ben E. Perry. 


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